I like my friends; love them. They're great. They treat me nice, provide for me when I become needy, and put up with my shit when I act out of line, and aren't afraid to hold me accountable for myself throughout it all.
At times I feel like a little brother. Of my guy friends, I'm constantly the youngest. It isn't an issue that barges to the forefront of most situations, but rather it settles in a deep subconscious layer of my brain that alters all my actions by 0.05%.
Because they're typically chunks of months older than me, I expect my friends to generally be smarter than me, better at new things, more experienced, more organized and top of shit, and even exhibit leadership better. For example, on long drives, I would always defer driving duty. Not out of fear of killing us all, but out of a general submissiveness when it came to doing adult things. That and the year of driving experience they all had over me.
I should have clarified this earlier* — my birthday is September 9, 1992. A majority of my friends are '91ers, or at least have the decency to catch up before the beginning of the subsequent** school year. This is because I skipped Kindergarten, an accomplishment that I can not justly appreciate — that is, I'm either caring too much about it or being overly modest.
I used to be everyone's short, smart, young, wisecrackin' pal. That was I, hangin' out with the cool kids who were secretly a grade above me (basically). My best friend in elementary school had the same birthday as me, though we were a year apart in age.
I know, I know. It doesn't seem like a lot. And I suppose in the end, there are greater socially distinguishing characteristics to be had. But every generational experience one gains through the process of getting older, I was deprived of, or rather, delayed in receiving.
Becoming a teenager was a sixth-grade thing to most, but not I. Being 16, getting a license, having a kickass birthday party and all that jazz were things I was pulling off in my junior year of high school as opposed to my sophomore year like everyone else. I remember sneaking past security at the theaters just to see The Hangover with all my 17-year-old friends. By the time I was old enough to buy porn and cigarettes, it was no longer cool to buy porn and cigarettes for the sake of buying porn and cigarettes in a celebration of age-earned American freedom. It was cool to drink though, because college.
The relevance of this issue is rearing its head once more for the second to last time. The difference between 19 and 20 is practically negligible, unless you're that*** person that still cares about being a teen versus being 20. Nerd. I will be damn tired of this routine by the time I'm waiting to turn 21, I'm sure. After that, however, I get to be younger than everyone. But being 19 is a big deal. Well, it's a big deal here.
My former editor's in town tonight. Alex Iniguez is someone whom I respect the crap out of and may just try to mooch a good word or two off one day, because it may hold value. May. He's out at bars and, while I'd love to go catch up with the guy, I can't because I'm not old enough. The bars are like a party for 19+-year-olds in Champaign that goes on every night that I'm never invited to. This changes in 8 days. By the way, it's now officially September.
To Alex, I'm sorry for being an infant. I'll grow up one day. To everyone else, I'm sorry for being an infant. I'll stop complaining now.
*-I could have clarified it earlier. I still can go back and change that. But I won't. Fate ordered it that way.
**-I originally had "next" here. But I went back and changed it. Judge me however you will.
***-Use of the word "that" as opposed to "a" designed to make you feel alone if you are, in fact, a person who cares about being a teen versus being 20.