On Staying Young

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(pc to friend)

I leaned into the hard, uncomfortable seat, swinging my feet listlessly, thinking of and looking at nothing specific, not feeling strongly towards any emotion. The soles of my feet hurt from all the walking we did today at Disney.

Scenes of the city swooshed by the window as the subway sped through the rails.

Just right next to me, my friend, Q, is going through a period of hysteria.

“Omigosh!!!” Q shook my right arm violently. “Look at this picture we took with Stitch!! ISN’T THIS ADORABLE??!”

“Yeah.” I barely raised my eyes to look the phone she was waving in my face.

“And and this too!!!” This time Q shoved the phone under my nose, obviously not satisfied with my previous reaction. “Isn’t the Disney Castle simply gorgeous at night!!”

“Yeah!” I tried again with more enthusiasm.

“Come on! Why are you such a bore. Ugh.” She gave up. “Don’t you have a princess dream? To live in a castle, battle these treacherous demons, dance with a prince, eat from …” Q emphasized her point with a dreamy “half-closed eyes, raised eyebrows” face, and grandiloquent gestures.

She began her solo operas with titles from Mulan and Beauty and the Beast as she happily indulged herself in her various imaginations.

“Sure you’re not considering acting or musical as career options?” I droned her out soon after.

Q looked back down at her phone, and returned to scrolling through the myriad of photos taken at Disney today, trying to find more evidence to convince me that “Disney is sole representation of my entire childhood and that I should be in tears whenever I visit Disney in memory of my lost innocence”.

The phone in snuggled in my pocket have less then twenty pictures taken. I remember the colors and the costumes and the characters and the fanciness and people and the lines and the heat, but nothing seems special enough for me to cherish.

I don’t understand what Q sees in Disney, but I really did try to have fun. Or did I? Throughout the day, she dragged me around, tried to instill some sort of “little-girl-excitement” in me, and pushed me onto rides, while I go indifferently about. I admit bursting out laughing more than a few times, being in awe at the beauty of the pink and blue castle, feeling the flutter of my heart when park resonated with “I Will Show You the World”.

At the end of the day, I think a part of me really did want to go back to the 6-year old little girl who dreamt of being a red-haired mermaid, wearing her brightest pearls, waiting for her prince to come galloping into her world and pepper her with so much love that she overflows.

I guess that’s what happens when you have a Disney-obsessed friend.

**

Dear Q,

I apologize for being an emotion black hole today, taking in all of your enthusiasm but not giving back any of my own. For the first five hours, I strolled around, one earphone bud in my ear, and displayed no signs of excitement, while you tugged on my arm, clad top to bottom in a Mickey outfit (and of course, not forgetting the signature ears), and tried to engage me in nostalgic conversation, only to be met with my lame reactions.

“Why are you like this?” You always sighed exasperatedly.

I don’t know, Q, I really don’t.

I don’t remember how many floors my imaginary castle has nor what color horse my prince comes rescuing me with. I don’t remember if my gown was pink or purple. I don’t remember when was the last time I imagined a happily ever after ending for a love story. I don’t remember my favorite theme song, movie, and scenes.

What I do remember is that the English essay is due tomorrow, that I haven’t started on my Science lab report, and that I need to start practicing for the orchestra concert on next month.

When you care about the how realistic the makeup of the princesses in the park were, I care about how I forgot to make my bed this morning, how I’m running low on milk at home, how I’m barely keeping my GPA afloat.

You don’t seem even slightly bothered by these worldly things that bothers the rest of the world, maintain the age of your heart at five while letting us all age in the trend of an exponential function.

And that is the best thing anyone can ask for.

Stay young J

From,

Your “aging” friend

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