Welcome To My Brain- Too Grown Up Today

Today I felt old. Not as in craggy and crone-like, and in need of an overhaul. But old, like someone who’s forgotten to smile, who’s forgotten what it’s like to just be dumb for the hell of it.

I was closing the roller door to the shop. It wasn’t closing time for another half an hour, but the shopping centre was all but deserted, and because I had spent most of the day alone, a bathroom trip was in order. As the last of the bumpy plastic neared the floor, a kid, about 17 or so, appeared. Sliding on his stomach with all the abandon of a toddler, and even a faint ‘Wheeee..’ noise, he cleared the small gap all the way into the shop.
I heard a harsh voice say ‘Hey!!’ and realised with a shock that it was mine.
He wriggled out quickly enough, and got up without stopping to brush himself off.
He walked away without so much as a backward glance.
The voice somehow seeped into my brain and I got angry.
I was heading in that direction anyway, so when I caught up with them I was frowning, and as close to being a bitch as I ever want to be.
The voice came out again. It sounded like me with a cold. Gravelly and cross and ready for a fight with a little jerk of a teenager who had just added some crappy sauce to my already disappointing meal of a day.
When he turned, he was smiling. Not like a jerk. Like a kid.
The voice told him that my store has a security camera, that it had recorded him.
The voice, inferred heavily, that he was IN TROUBLE.
And the smile faltered. He lost, oh, about 10 years, and suddenly was a small unhappy thing who had encountered yet another adult who just didn’t get it
For a minute there, he was right.
It didn’t last, of course. I pushed the growl aside, I told him that the camera was there all the time, and that he should be more careful, about being less careful.
I felt like a heel. Like a wet blanket. Like a spoiler of fun, a murderer of impulsive crazy what-would-happen-if-I-did-this-ness.
Because of stupid stress and stupid work and stupid Orwelllian paranoid businesses who claim they’re protecting their staff and stupid people who won’t work and make me feel like a hybrid butler/ doormat just for a pay check, I got angry at a teenager who just wanted to be completely dumb for a minute, without need of chemical substances or vandalism.

I walked to the video store this evening. I borrowed two comedies and bought some fairy floss for dinner. I was served by two kids of about seventeen. They wished me a pleasant evening.
And in the quiet of my head, next to the spot that had beaten the voice down, I wished for more grown ups to refrain from the killing of childish impulses.

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