Author's Note: I know the legal age of adulthood is 18 here in the US, but that's not important.

Twenty-one

Twenty-one. He's twenty-one today. He's twenty-one and he claims to be an adult, even though he's scared of it and he isn't even sure he can grasp what adulthood is. He's twenty-one today.

He's spent most of the day bar-hopping, getting hammered and flirting with every girl who crosses his path, most as smashed as he is, many celebrating his birthday with him. He doesn't recognize them, and somewhere in the back of his mind he has to wonder what makes the first day of being twenty-one so different from the last day of being twenty. Why is he an adult today if he was a child yesterday?

He's twenty-one today, and he can't tell if he's any different than all the other kids in the world, mindlessly playing a game of "I'm so grown up". He can't decide if he's a new person or just the same old one, pretending to be more mature so he can get drunk in a bar and not get kicked out.

He turned twenty-one today. Through all the bars and the girls and the drinks, he can't really tell what makes twenty-one seem so invincible. He's so invincible.

He's twenty-one.

He's an adult.

He's invincible.

He's a new person, he's the same old kid who used to pluck on a guitar and wear his jeans ragged and slide on a beat-up pair of vans and pretend to be so cool and so sophisticated while scared out of his wits by the world around him that he claimed to have control over.

He's an adult now, though, so he must be different. He's an adult, and adults don't do things that manky, angsty, wannabe-gothic teenagers do. He's twenty-one, he's an adult, therefore he's different, he's invincible, and he knows he's really more vulnerable now.

No mother to take care of him.

No needing to hide the beer.

No pretending he's done his homework.

It's all over now, and he's an adult, and he's invincible, and he's twenty-one, and life has to be different, life has to better, life has to interesting now because that's what adulthood is about, right? Taking a guitar with broken strings and a pair of doodled-on shoes and a pair of manky jeans and turning yourself into something suave, sophisticated, cool, and nevermind that those shoes and those jeans and that guitar were the height of cool once.

He's twenty-one now, and he can't be the "cool" teenager because teenage isn't cool anymore.

And he used to think he was such a nonconformist.

But now, he's melding into the crowd, getting drunk out of his skull and calling himself an adult when he was just a kid yesterday.

He was just a kid yesterday.