This week, I've overheard a few people say that they yearn to be a kid again, which is absolutely ridiculous. Anyone who longs for their yesteryears has simply forgotten how shitty it is to be a child.
Sure, one's salad days are filled with a youthful sense of innocence and vigor, but you're also trapped in a small, changing body, unable to make your own decisions in life and riddled with surprise spurts of arousal and general hormonal dismay.
Being a grown up, on the other hand, is great because you can do things like drink and do drugs and consent to having sex. You know, all the things you wish you could've done when you were a kid.
One of the lamer things about adult life, though, is running errands. You spend all week at work, and when the weekend finally arrives, you've got to set aside some of your precious leisure time to get shit done around the house. And it's completely unavoidable. I spent my early twenties thinking that there would be a time in my life when everything I needed to get done would be done, and I would finally be free from the shackles of responsibility. But as it turns out, that will never, ever happen.
Something always needs to get done. There's laundry and cooking and cleaning and all that extra shit you put off until it becomes too much of a problem. A patch of what I'm pretty sure is black mold has been growing on my office window for four months now, and I know that I should take care of it, but honestly, I think I'd rather just die.
Most chores are pretty tedious, but my favorite errand is buying groceries. There's something calming about walking down the aisles and picking out my sustenance for the week. Plus, you get to hear the sweet sounds of beloved classic rock songs. I'm never going to listen to Billy Joel's The Longest Time on my own time, but if it comes on as I'm making my way past the Brussels sprouts, then you're goddamn right I'm going to try and hit all those falsetto notes.
But there are faux pas to be wary of at the grocery store. I tend to do my shopping on Saturday, because I'm usually hungover on Sunday, and no one wants to see a man reeking of bile and shame stocking up on frozen pizza and Top Ramen. Or worse, I'll try shopping while coming off of molly and end up buying a bunch of colorful fruits and vegetables because their vibrant presence helps fill the hole in my heart where serotonin used to be, but then I'll get home and realize that pomegranate is overrated, cantaloupe looks like a disease, and avocados spoil the minute you turn your back on them.
What I hate most, though, is when you accidentally start to walk off with somebody else's cart. I'm fortunate enough to have only ever tossed in an item or two before realizing my error and walking away, but some people make much worse mistakes. Like earlier this week, when a man in Portland, Maine mistakenly grabbed a cart that wasn't his. But instead of just walking around the store with someone else's groceries, he realized he'd been perusing the aisles with someone else's baby on board.
Upon seeing the sleeping infant, the man abandoned the baby-riddled shopping cart and retrieved his own groceries. Luckily, no one was hurt or abducted.
I hope that what happened is that the man freaked out and left the baby in that infant-specific aisle full of diapers and pacifiers and bottles and cute little baby toys. That way, when the baby woke up, instead of being afraid, it looked unto a heavenly scene that extended as far as its eye could see (I read once that babies can only see and comprehend what's immediately in front of them, which is apparently what makes peek-a-boo so fascinating for infants).
At first, I imagine the baby would be overjoyed to be surrounded by all of its favorite things. But then, when the baby extended its tiny, infant arms in an attempt to reach out towards a pair of plastic keys (because babies fucking love keys), it realized that, despite its best efforts, its feeble limbs couldn't quite reach from the cart to its ideal toy. And in that moment, the baby finally understood the type of existential dread that would forever plague its miserable mortality. So it did what all babies do when confronted with a sad metaphor for the human condition: it shat itself and started crying.
Then, the baby's mom probably came running to the rescue or whatever, but it was too late. The baby had already experienced its first loss of innocence, and would never be the same again.
Anyways, I always forget my grocery list when I go shopping, so somebody please text me this Saturday to remind me that we need eggs.