5:30 pm. Hair still in yesterday’s bun, blue tips faded to a dirty gray. Wearing an 80s acid wash denim man’s button up that was my most recent thrift store find, and underwear with a bengal tiger’s face on them. So far I have eaten two peaches and a bowl of cereal with Jennifer Lopez’s leftover fancy almond milk, my prize from last week’s job with American Idol.

I’m not quite not doing anything. I switch sleepily from sending out requests for Certificates of Insurance for next weeks commercial, to working on wrapping up these two castings I’ve been hired to handle. The new SAG payment requirements mean that labels don’t want to pay agency fees, and thus recently I’ve found myself spending hours scouring Facebook for pretty, agentless model wannabes. The number that have profile pictures of over-photoshopped, over-makeuped bikini shots sitting on cars is rather remarkable.

I am twenty three and seventeen days. I keep thinking to myself, “Hey, Adult. Whatchya gonna do now?” I have been an adult for a long time. Many years. But I have always been an adult internally, only internally. Now my years have caught up with my internal organs, and it is no longer a big deal that I pay my own bills and live 700 miles from my family. I no longer get extra points in the ratings book of humanity for having a 4.0 in college and scholarships and all the best internships-nobody cares about college anymore. My self-funded European tour at 19 is a relic and I haven’t been out of the country since.

I own a few things I love. My Dirty Dancing calendar. My goose down white comforter. My 9th grade Roxy hoodie that solidified my coolness. An empty Bellini bottle from said relic Europe trip. A rose given to me by a stranger who noticed my tears. Not enough to fill a house. 

But I’m getting a house. The lease goes out in two days. A house. A year lease and a house with my name on it. A house in a neighborhood with stainless steel appliances. The adult Allison of my dreams would never, ever have a house. She would be a BohemianGypsy, just like her cheesy 2003 email address proclaimed.  The story hasn’t quite gone like that. I feel nauseous.

I have convinced myself that will happen, after I put in enough time in this local film community, after enough hours on reality TV sets coming through town, after someone hires me to come along on their world tour documentary. I just need more experience. If I stick it through for a little while longer, if my resume gets so long that I have to use 2 pages of 10 pt font, then I will get the break that lets me wander. 

The other truth is, I never planned to wander alone. I thought a lover, a friend, a sibling- someone would join me. But good lovers are hard to come by (wait for my 27th year and seventeen day tirade for me to say impossible instead of hard). And friends are just as trapped as I. And siblings are far more established and flourishing than I ever was at any of their ages. If I wanted to wander, I would wander alone. And I’m not brave enough for that. So I’m getting a house.

It’s 6:05 and I’m going to shower before I meet a friend for dinner. I’ll light my eyes when I do my mascara and he will be charmed by me as he always is. And I will hope he thinks I’m a BohemianGypsy, even though I’m going to go back home and go to bed and watch a movie and sleep in till 2 pm because I really don’t have anything to do tomorrow and I’m not as adventurous as I’d like to think.

Hey, Adult. Whatchya gonna do now?