You are only twenty seven once, if you make it there at all. That is a terrifying notion. There are just 365 days of twenty seven. Fifty two weeks. Almost nine thousand hours. I looked all that up, obviously, because I needed something tangible. It’s the tangible that makes it terrifying. When you wrap your mind around the facts of it all. Well, all you can do is accept the obvious. You’re dying. Every second every minute every hour of the day you’re tick-tick-ticking away. And you will only be twenty seven once.

Some people don’t understand this. Twenty seven is abstract. It feels as if twenty seven might last forever. Some people sit around just wondering when they’ll be twenty eight. It’s as if it’s some new game they haven’t played. Twenty eight ticks to twenty nine ticks to thirty ticks to forty and it spins like a rock down a hill. At some point you’ll reach an age, whatever that age is for you, maybe it’s twenty seven, where you realize that you’ll only be that age once.

After that age is gone, it never comes back again. There is no second chance. Your life doesn’t rethread itself, it doesn’t twist and bend and restart in the original position. What you did not do at twenty seven you will never do again at twenty seven. This is it. And it’s gone, tick tick tick. Every second moving you closer to twenty eight.

We’re sitting on a bench and we’re drinking beer and it’s so hot outside you can feel your pores opening up just a little bit to let out the sweat. It smells like gas and pavement and grease. We’re making jokes about the Hump! porn festival that rolls through down every year. What if we got together and, I dunno, we all polled our best ideas, and then we crammed those together, and we created the best Hump! ever. There’s a communal nod that waves around the table. We drink again. The moment is gone. It’s gone forever. But it’s a snapshot.

I am twenty seven. I am sitting in the sun. I am on the bench that is already more red in my memorial than it is in real life. That blue bench. Was it yellow? There are five of us but there were only really three. We’re laughing about a film festival and we’re getting drunk. My fingers are sticky. I’m smiling and I can feel the skin separate around the dimple in my face. I press my glasses back up on my nose.

I will never be twenty seven again.


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