“Yeah, but you’re a regular person. I’ll never be a regular person.”
I’m peeling myself out of bed after waking up too late and fucking too long. I’m late for work, which isn’t surprising because I’m usually late for work when he’s around. It’s a bad habit I’ve developed – I’d rather be in his arms all week than working. Of course, I don’t know if I’d rather be in his arms and broke than working. I like to tell myself in moments of romance that, yes, of course I could be destitute so long as I had his love, but let’s be real – I’m never going to test that theory, and even though I’m running late, I’ll still show up to work today, and tomorrow, and the rest of the week, and the rest of the month.
This is what he means by “regular person.” I’m a regular person because I go to work despite all of that. I’m functional these days. I have a steady income. I’m not so bowled over by my own emotions that I can’t get out of bed. Part of me wants to bristle at his accusation that I am a “regular person,” but nowadays I can’t really argue with it. Sure, when we first met, he never would have dared call me a “regular person” because I worked sporadically and drank consistently and was wrecked most of the time. I’m not sure why I want to bristle at the accusation that I’m a regular person – I have always, always wanted to have a regular job and regular income because to me that seemed to equate to peace of mind. I’ve been trying to achieve this for my entire life.
But perhaps there’s something lonely about it. At least in this moment as the big, long divide of normalcy separates us even as we lie in each others’ arms. I’m a regular person. I have a regular job. I have a future. I have a career. I have opportunities. I have privilege. But I didn’t always have all of this, so as I look at him after he popped that revelation out of his mouth, I feel a pang of nostalgia. Perhaps because before I was a regular person, he and I were both misfits together. Fuck ups. Weirdos. We held each others’ hands as we marched through reality in all our weirdness. Now? Now he feels miles away, and I can’t reach out and grab his hand, and I can’t pull him into normalcy, and I can’t make him be a regular person.
I realize how dangerous this is because despite the fact that we’re both in our 30’s, he’s a man and I’m a woman. He can keep partying for another fifteen years and look exactly the same because, well, black don’t crack. Me? Three more nights of binge drinking and I’ll look 52. Which is why I had to become a regular person – being the freak of the week or a creep at night wasn’t going to look good for too much longer.
It’s not that I envy him. I don’t envy him at all. Of course I’d rather be a regular person. I’m lucky – I got to fuck off my 20’s being a slut and a lush, and now I blend in with everyone else. It’s more that…I feel wistful. These are the last days that we make sense together. Another five years down our separate paths, and we’ll be total strangers. We won’t recognize each other in five years. We’ll be so far apart. Which is probably why I’m hanging onto him for dear life – I want as much of him as I can have while I still can. Before the astute life choices of my 30’s supplant the wild fancies of my 20’s.