I imagine what life will be like when I'm older, when I know what I want to do with my life, when I can buy a red futon and dark coffee because why the hell not, it's what I want to do and I'll do it because I can. I imagine what I'll be like, what He (because there's always a He with me) will be like, if maybe I already know who He is. Sometimes I hope I do, but then it snaps and falls and I desperately hope I don't.
But back to imagining.
I imagine what it will be like to have to work through the summer and not get a nice break every few months and to not be able to sit out by the pool all day. When I imagine that, I cry and I start to think that maybe Xeno had the right idea when he said he didn't intend to live past his 20s.
I imagine what it will be like to be fucked. To clutch a sweaty body, to be held tightly as... well, we all know how that works.
I imagine decorating my apartment. I imagine the little red futon and the shitty coffee maker. I imagine the view out over my little private Hell: suburbia. And I don't imagine that I'll mind, because it will be my place to call my own for as long as I keep paying the rent, my refuge from the real world.
I imagine... I imagine being just like I am now, only older. I imagine meeting, meeting a guy and thinking, "Oh my God, he's so amazing," and then, not falling, but absolutely crashing into love and then getting so worked up and analyzing what he says and doesn't say, and oh no we're still in the friend zone, and hating myself for being so inadequate that I plummet back out of love, only to discover later that maybe had I made the right move at the right time, everything would have turned out perfect. And I imagine wondering what the hell is wrong with me that I managed to mess it up like that.
I imagine sitting, alone but for a bottle, crying myself to sleep because nothing is turning out the way I want it to. I imagine reaching into my wallet in the checkout lane and realizing I don't have enough to pay for all these groceries and having to walk, ashamed, back and downsize the milk to a half-gallon and put back the Nutella and switch the cereal out for oatmeal. God, I hate oatmeal.
I imagine my dead-end job, drudgery of the worst sort.
I imagine not just not-fearing death, but welcoming it, crying out for it.
I imagine a boy with blue hair and a military jacket with peace symbols sewn on. I imagine getting offered a cigarette and politely declining. I imagine trading conspiracy theories, reminiscing about the "good old days," those days we never really thought we'd smile at. I imagine a slower development of emotional attachment, something genuine and fragile, but slowly strengthening.
I imagine a little house with a white couch. I imagine dying my hair blond for the hell of it, not caring about the looks I get or the snide remarks my mother aims toward me. I imagine getting a kitten for Christmas, a little Siamese baby. I imagine it nuzzling my hand.
I imagine a wood floor, a large mirror leaned against the wall. I imagine my feet are encased in ballet shoes and I'm teaching my four-year-old what I remember from my dance classes all those years ago. She doesn't like it. She wants to play basketball, Mommy. I imagine that would kill me.
I imagine now a beauty with flaming red hair and emerald eyes. She's forcing me against the wall, asking what the hell is wrong with me that I'm living like this. Her freckles stand out behind her badly-done fake tan.
I imagine my hair in a bun, brown again, the bland brown eyeshadow and mascara and not-quite-red lipstick. I imagine the pantsuit and the barely-there, 1.5-inch heels. I imagine that I've succumbed to life, that I haven't worn a skirt or dress in years. I imagine that I've missed so many soccer games my daughter hates me, and the worst part is that I don't care any more because the Prozac has finally kicked in.
I imagine sipping the coffee behind my desk at 10:30 PM, ignoring the frantic calls from my husband, the voicemails asking where I am. I imagine wondering if I should even go home. I practically live at the office anyways.
And then I imagine imagining running away. And I do it. I just up and fucking get on a plane and get out. Yeah, it's cruel, but they'll live without me for a few weeks. It won't be permanent, it'll just be until I get to be myself again. Then I can come home, claim temporary insanity, and everything will be fine again. Except it won't.
I wish when I imagine things I could see happy endings.