FALLING INTO DISGRACELAND 

FALLING INTO DISGRACELAND

I moved to Memphis six months ago. I can’t say that I didn’t know a soul, because I knew about seven. Souls, that is. And while those seven came in handy when I was trying to rent an apartment, it wasn’t enough people to constitute a surrogate family or even a surrogate fa. I felt as if my whole life was beginning anew. I’m not sure what I was expecting with my “rebirth.” Possibly (and please don’t laugh) enlightenment. Not necessarily spiritual enlightenment, but just enlightenment. Not only was I moving to a new town, in a new state, with new possibilities, but only months before I had graduated college and had been wondering about that mystical place called adulthood. My friends at school and I used to joke about becoming “real people” after we graduated. “Real people” were people with careers, not jobs; they had serious relationships, not just flings after keggers; and probably their lives had more excitement, purpose, and meaning than any of ours did. We were just bullshitting our way through papers on economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa in a modern day global economy and art projects that required every choice to be made at random. What have I discovered about adulthood so far? Your ass spreads until it’s the size of the Serengeti. Okay, I take that back. My ass spreads to the size of the Serengeti. I’m not sure whether to attribute it to the millions of hours I sit down everyday, or the hours I spend on the glider at the gym trying to combat the sitting. Other than that, I’m not sure how much more adult I’ve gotten. I live in an efficiency apartment. I still don’t make my bed in the morning. I own a puppy (although I got her more as an accessory than anything else. I had this strange delusion that she would just ride around in my purse calmly and lick cute boys on demand. Although she might still be small enough to ride around in my purse, I’m not sure she won’t poop while she’s in there, and I worried about ruining my credit cards, not to mention carrying around a purseful of poop). I’m not dating anyone (not that I’m opposed to the idea, it just hasn’t been proposed recently.) And the other day in the laundry room of my building, I got called on not having blinds in my apartment. That was sort of shocking. Because as long as you keep your unmentionables to yourself and don’t steal anyone’s dryer, the laundry room can be a great place to meet people. But on this particular day, not so much. One of my neighbors was doing his laundry and I was doing mine and he asked me if I lived in a certain apartment, describing it by where it was in the building. I’ll be honest, I had no idea what he was talking about. But Instead of saying that and asking him to clarify, though, I said no. I don’t live in that apartment. “Yeah, you do, don’t you live in the one without any blinds?” he replied. I froze, holding a small pile of clothes aloft. “Uh ...” was all I managed. He had just recognized me after seeing me in MY APARTMENT. And because of the large gaping yawn of space in which I was reeling, I think he realized that someone might be freaked out by, again, being recognized after being seen in their apartment. “I mean, most of the other ones have shades and I always see your light on...” he trailed off. I tried some false bravado, “Yeah, well, you know, I’m obviously not shy. Ha ha.” Really I was thinking two things: 1) Damn it, my mother was right. And 2)What has he seen me doing? I try to keep embarrassing activities, such as picking my nose or dancing around like I’m in a rap video, on the down low. At any rate, this is all to say that adulthood hasn’t caught up with me yet. I still haven’t ever dated a “real” person or gone to a charity ball. But I’m thinking it will, and soon. I’ve already opened a savings account. I pay car insurance every month. And this weekend, I’m going shopping for blinds. Mary Cashiola writes about life every Friday @ www.memphisflyer.com. You're invited to come along.

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