I’m wearing my sock inside-out. At a second glance, I realize that not only am a thirty-four-year-old man but a thirty-four-year-old man wearing BOTH his socks inside-out. By this time, you’d think I’d be a thirty-four-year-old man with some semblance of having his shit together. And I wonder when exactly one starts feeling like an adult, because, legally, I’ve been an adult for the last sixteen years of my life. And, yes, I opened a calculator app on my computer to figure out the math. And, yes, I accidentally opened the Hulu app before doing so. And, yes, I am the type of thirty-four-year-old man who keeps his Hulu app right next to his calculator app because why the fuck not?
There’s a scene from a Ben Stiller movie that unnerves me. It unnerves me because how much I relate to it. In it, Josh (played by Ben Stiller) and his wife, Cornelia (played by Naomi Watts), sit side-by-side after the movie’s events come to a close. A defeated Josh turns to Cornelia and confesses to her, “For the first time in my life I’ve stopped thinking of myself as a child imitating an adult.” Understanding where he’s coming from, she responds, “You feel that way too?”
And here I am. A thirty-four-year-old man with his fucking socks inside-out. Trying to figure out the secret to adulthood. Wondering why it hasn’t revealed itself. Moments reveal themselves where my mind still goes into shock about being a father. Five years have come and gone. Still, there are moments where the I’m awestruck that this kid is mine. That he’s half of me. A byproduct of a love that feels like a lifetime ago. I remember a time when he didn’t exist, but cannot fathom a world in which he doesn’t. He keeps me somewhat grounded. Keeps me from moving to far into the dark corners of my depression. Corners I know all too well. Corners that beg me to visit. Corners holding the knife. The plastic bag.
Shit. I don’t have the answer. Suppose I never will. Maybe that’s o.k. Maybe that’s what being an adult is? Acknowledging that we don’t have the answers to the questions that keep us up at night? Because, to quote the greatest philosopher of the late twentieth century, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” And there are far more important things that worrying about petty-ass shit like wearing your socks inside-out and how that makes you a low functioning adult.