Writing Exercise: 2

Prompt: mimic a stylistic aspect of David Egger's I Could Go Out, Sure about something you could be doing.

I could be an adult, sure. I could easily apply for and get a job, work thirty to forty hours a week for barely above minimum wage, at least to contribute to the household in some form or fashion. I could be better than my family members, over forty years old and have never maintained a rental contract, have been evicted time and time again, have never lived outside of their parents’ house. I could earn my paycheck and cash it at the bank, allot and manage every moment of every day to make sure my grades stay high and savings account growing. I could make sure the fridge is full and the laundry room is stocked with cleaning supplies. I could buy the things in bulk that cost seven times as much individually, depending upon where you get them. I could be an adult, like I’m supposed to be.

But holding a job would mean budgeting every moment of every day, of forcing myself to read and study when I should be sleeping, of denying myself the rest and nutrition needed to function successfully, and thus my performance would suffer both at work at an school. Forty hours at a job is forty less hours invested into my writing, invested into my grades, invested into my dogs. Forty hours at a job is more to the rent, more to the utilities, more to the savings account, more to shove in my family’s face when they try to remind me of how much of a failure I am. But I’ve worked forty hours, and I’ve had my grades suffer, and I’ve struggled and been sleep-deprived and drunk because the stress piles up and up and up and weighs me down until I’m eating dirt. I could keep the fridge full, but then I’d have to cook, and that time to cook takes away from my time to study, my time to really learn and understand what I’m paying thousands of dollars to master. And if I buy the cleaning supplies, well then, I have to clean.

I could be an adult, but I’m not.

Instead, I’ll pass on holding a job—for the first time in my life, it’s not something I have to do. And I’ll get around to filling the fridge, to stocking the laundry room cleaning supplies, because I do eventually have to eat and clean. But for now, I’ll work on my homework, work on my own personal projects. The money is there. I can grab Subway for dinner, put off dusting until this sentence, this paragraph, this scene, this page, this chapter, this novel is finished. Until this arc is worked out and flawless. My dogs love it when I’m home, and I can throw a ball or scratch behind an ear as I look up the definition of this word, or how this metabolic process works. For the story, of course.

So I could be an adult. But I’d rather write.