Today I turned 18, and that means strewn balloons, cake and 12 packs of lager, and that means a main course, dessert and a starter, for breakfast only the full English will do.
And tonight will explode like when propane’s lit, we’ll dance the night through on some Soul Train shit, looking dapper, Bobby Dazzler, fresh clothes from JD and Topman, my mate’s motor is a road rage risk.
We will conjoin with the hybrid and dance till it’s sunny, sweating like bankers in a room full of money, my mate’s on the pull, he’s gonna act like a bastard, ‘cause you catch more flies with shit than with honey.
His fake ID says he’s 21, I, myself, stood there with my passport and when the bouncer checked it, for the first time in my life I got in legally.
I don’t know why I was concerned that he’d turn me away, the bouncer looked at me with his a cheeky face, He looked like Ross Kemp but with the odd hair of grey, “18 today … mate”.
“Yes, 18 today”, and then I was struck by exactly what that means, more than all of them clubs by the beach, more than being guaranteed service, it means that my childhood is over.
No more will I have to loiter at shops, with a nervous excitement on face plastered, no more will I steal from Sainsbury’s self-checkout, and find out if myself or the guard can run fastest.
Today, I became responsible, there are no light punishments now, but full sanctions, no juvenile, I am accountable for my actions, no second chances.
And this title of adult is one that will forever stay, though I am no wiser than I was yesterday.
See, age is like a delicate flower in the down-pouring rain of time, life’s short but it’s the longest experience you get, i’m gonna be living mine.
And I’m yet to turn 20 but even I have begun to think that youth is wasted on the young.
We grow up to quick, our role models are dealers, thugs and pimps, we wanna be adults so by the time we’re 6, we crave Benson and Hedges with our Panda Pop and Crisps.
But today I turned 18, today I can drink and today I can smoke, today I can gamble and today I can vote, I am legally a man, but I’m scared like a child.
I’ll still do everything I did as a youth, only now, I’ll do it legally, on that night that I turned 18, I became what the children dream to be.
The only dream that’s certain to come true.
On that night, we shared the same drinks and dance floor but we lived in different worlds, I groom and maintain the run of my time, while my friends ride it in prison cells.
Age is both the biggest buzzkill and the biggest excuse for fun, ‘cause when we’re young we can use the excuse we don’t know better to get away with whatever we want, and when we’re getting on, we’ll blast modern songs that we secretly don’t like and drive around all night having a mid-life crisis, trying to be 25.
That’s what time does to you.
Today I’m a rebel without a cause, tomorrow I’ll be round the bend, today I turned 18, I don’t ever want today to end.
Tommy Sissons is a spoken word poet who Lives and Works in Brighton. He writes about urban lifestyles, working class values and the impact of politics in a coarse, intense way, mixing wordplay with rhythmic delivery. He is currently the two-time Brighton Hammer and Tongue Slam Champion, coming 5th in the 2013 national finals and going on to the 2014 finals in September. He featured on the nationwide 'Public Address 2' tour with Apples and Snakes and recently performed his sell-out show 'A Day In The Life' at the Brighton Komedia. He is also currently working on a jazz poetry EP with Brighton-based band 'Normanton Street'