Sometimes I like to be able to pretend I'm younger than I am. I'm the wrong side of 25 and add a few years, while working in an industry where youth, energy and the ability to kick your leg over your head can be sometimes useful, now I have to face the dwindling energy, that I may pull something if I kick too high, and that I get sleepy past 1am.
I push through it and it's not completely uncommon for me to crawl onto a night bus home blinking in the sunrise, feeling somewhat ashamed at not having been to bed yet while others I'm commuting with are on their way to work, not from what I consider to be work. Sometimes, I'm paid in alcohol.
I crawl into bed drawing all the curtains and try to pretend it's only midnight, make believing that eight hours sleep doesn't mean I'll wake up at 3pm in the afternoon before lazing on the couch with a take away because "I worked really hard last night".
Luckily I don't look my age, or so it would appear to anyone anytime I try to buy cigarettes or alcohol. Most corner shops don't ask but every supermarket employee whether younger, older or even the same age as me feel obliged to question my age.
As I'm aware from previous encounters the disbelief, I watch for their reactions when they figure out my age as I find it amusing enough to even be requested to prove that I can live the life of nicotine and alcohol infused sin.
Only if you look over 25!
Some try to play it cool, glancing and without meeting eye contact completing the transaction, mainly women will compliment that I don't look my age to which I reply that I certainly feel it. Just the other day while awaiting a reaction to my birthdate I was met with a loud "gosh!" Which turned into a conversation I have repeated many times about how I'll appreciate it when I'm older.
I am older, I'm older than you thought I was.
I remember maybe a year or two ago a rather young looking man had to ask me, and he asked nervously it would seem but I smiled as I handed over proof of ageing. It was the best reaction I had ever had. His mouth shot open and he seemed to almost jump as he figured the numbers out in his head, I of course started to laugh as the reaction seemed so strange and dramatic. He blushed and allowed me to continue filling my lungs with their much required tar.
One day it'll catch me, that I know for sure, overnight it will seem I drank from the wrong cup in raiders of the lost ark and on that day, I can leave my passport at home.