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Today I Am Eighteen: A Timeline

five forty five AM. i am awake now.
i lie in bed for two minutes and dread the coming hours
one hour to drive,
ten hours to stand.
in the rentals department at the ski resort
we are not allowed to sit on th counters,
and no seat is provided for those who hand out snowboards.

six fifty AM. my current favorite song comes on the radio.
i let it sink into my chest and settle
i have figured out where i'm supposed to park.
i think.

seven AM. no sir,
i did not get the memo that said we would start at eight today.
i can't find the chore list, so i vaccuum the entire floor.
this takes at least thirty minutes.
i sit and read my neil gaiman book until we have our morning meeting.

eight AM. i'm assigned to snowboards again.
(it's probably worth mentioning that despite the very large signs
and enormous racks of snowboards that are twice as high as i am tall,
no one can figure out where to get their snowboards.)
not many people come through. i lean on the counter and read.

nine AM.
wait what - oh
that means, four buses
a prep school feild trip. over two hundred kids.
we gather at the large windows and watch them unload.

ten AM. i didn't realize my coworker is less experienced than i am
and this is only my second day. i answer his questions.
he doesn't know the difference between goofy and regular.
i sigh. he's never even heard of "duck."

eleven AM.
nothing happens.

twelve AM. my coworker leaves for his lunch break.
i am alone and suddenly there is a line in front of the counter.

one PM. my lunch break.
the rest of the workday melts together.

five PM. i am leaving.
in forty five minutes i will meet pumpkin and boo at the tattoo shop.
today is my eighteenth birthday
and i have wanted this since before i was sixteen.
i have wanted this since i learned what work is
and i wanted it even more once i learned to measure time in dollars.

six thirty PM. everyone likes it.
it is small, and did not hurt nearly as much as i expected.
three words on my ribs. it took about twenty minutes.
i follow pumpkin back to her house and stay for a few minutes.
boo is tired and mom keeps texting me, so i go home.

eight PM. i'm home.
i open my presents
a small coffee maker, six different kinds of coffee,
four different kinds of tea, and black boots.
the signed copy of amanda palmer's book has arrived,
courtesy of princess. i am happy.

ten forty one PM. the heat just kicked on and i relish the sound.
i remember splitting firewood and carrying it inside;
i feel my toes warm and i forget again.
heat emanates from my ribs and i want to feel the raised skin with my fingers
but until it heals i am to treat this tattoo like an open wound
and my hands are unclean. they always are, for some reason.

eleven twenty three PM. i'm going to bed.
it doesn't feel like a birthday
but i guess it feels like a start.
the start of deciding for myself.
i don't know when to consider someone an adult.
i was halfway done with my associates degree before i turned eighteen
i have been responsible for taking care of myself for quite a while now
i have experienced more hardship than you might think in seventeen years.
but for now, all i am completely sure of
is that tomorrow i have to be up at quarter to six again
and it's going to be a long day.

Last few words: 
shit. I have to vote now.
Editing stage: 


it generally takes around three centuries to mature which of course poses a problem.
I loved the length of the poem. No one writes in bulk but me it seems, so I enjoyed that.
This is a cool example of storytelling in verse. All of the component parts are there. It really is an excellent poem.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Your writing is clean and rich in its three sixty feel even in
an ordinary descript...Its very clever
The magazine stories I read were TheWalrus
NewYorker and others..This poem is what I
enjoyed about those writers....There is incredbile
focus and discipline in taking your reader through
the course of its ways without losing them
that is a gift and result of work

Its the polish that I like
I find you to be a very talented writer

Thank You!

Happy Birthday!

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