Last month you thought you were in love and by the end of the month; it felt like the last 31 days had never happened. You don’t remember his face anymore, just the way he said ‘inadvertently’, you remember it because he always pronounced it wrong and when you corrected him on that, he’d throw a tantrum.
Maybe that was the reason you didn’t work out as a couple. Scratch that. It was definitely the reason you didn’t work out as a couple. Last month you were also offered a job and you turned it down without thinking, probably because it’d have required you to move to a city that had no rivers, only gardens, and gardens have started boring you now.
You parents are probably worried. No, definitely worried. A single woman in her thirties, shifting between jobs with not a care for security or settling down, living through her days with the ferocity of a bullet train, going from one point to the next, to the next, but never stopping, never giving up, is alternatively a nightmare and almost alien to those around you. But you, darling, always knew you had choices to make.
You can push that glass door of the tattoo parlour and get your name inked over and over again, curling around each of your fingers, a reminder of your priorities or how they should’ve been.
You can take glorious nudes and never show it to anyone.
You can get a hangover.
You can get a regular coke.
You can masturbate with the daylight streaming in through the skylight of your apartment and imagine yourself as an angel who gave up her fragile wings because she discovered magic lies not in incantations, but her own soul.
You can climb all the stairs to your fourth floor apartment and forget yoga classes for a week.
You can run into people who don’t remind you of your age. You can look into the mirror for an extra half hour.
You can promise yourself to learn painting and give it up after a month, only to take piano lessons instead.
You can sleep early.
You can stay up late.
You can drink beer in wine glasses, or vice versa. You can touch yourself. You can ask a man you just met if he thinks your voice will break should you attempt to sing.
You can confess a truth to yourself.
Or you can worry about things everyone else told you was important, about finding the right man, about having a proper, conventional, convenient life; things people keep saying like a cheap trick they’ve learnt from someone and practised till it fits their tongues.
Watching you throw your hair back, the glass of sparkling wine in hand, celebrating the coming of a new age, of learning to let go and loving yourself, I know you have made all the right choices.
For that I wish you a happy birthday, darling.