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"twenty" by Madi Pignetti

I am twenty but sometimes I forget that and the last two years of my life have gone by so fast that when people ask me how old I am, I still say “eighteen”.

I am twenty and my mom offered me a beer for the first time while I was home for winter break and it was a Hoegaarden and those are good (and expensive) but I was tired so I said “no”. On the same day, I declined an offer of a glass of wine from my best friend’s mom and a bottle of beer from my best friend’s dad and wondered if gender roles would always exist.

I am twenty and I can feel myself growing older and sometimes my back hurts when I sleep too long and I never stay out past one anymore.

My brothers are sixteen and they are taller than my dad and my sister is eighteen and she has bigger feet than me.

My childhood best friend is nineteen and she went to rehab when she was fifteen and I did not know how to help her and now I call her my childhood best friend because we don’t talk anymore and it still hurts to say her name.

My brothers are sixteen and they ask me to buy them cigarettes and my sister is eighteen and she tells me to stop being such a feminist.

I am twenty but I still think of my eighteenth birthday party as one of the best nights of my life even though I slapped someone across the face and ran out of the house crying.

I am twenty and I read what Cynthia Schemmer wrote about being thirty and that’s kind of how I feel about being twenty and Cynthia is closer to my age than my mom’s age and that is weird to me.

My brothers are sixteen and they write songs about sex that I don’t want to hear and my sister is eighteen and that’s how old I still think I am.


note: since writing this a few months ago, my brothers have turned seventeen and my sister has turned nineteen. i am still twenty. time works in such mysterious (but predictable) ways.



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