The prompt was: In 250 words, answer this question: How old would you be if you didn’t know your real age?
Here is what we received in return.
My Age by Sarah D.
My mother has always looked younger than she was, even now as she closes in on 60. People used to think my brother and I were her siblings instead of her children. I don’t know what kind of magical genes she has, but I have inherited them. I have always had a baby face, and a tiny voice. Being the new girl in Portland, no one knew how old I really was. When people talk to me, they guess 23. When I tell them 28, I always get a look of surprise and disbelief. I don’t feel 28, but I don’t feel 23 either. Some days I imagine I am still 19, although I know I have changed so much since then. If I had no concept of age, or any knowledge of how old I was, I would still imagine myself being in my 20’s. Older than my teenage self, but not quite a grown up. Somewhere in between having no idea who you are, and knowing exactly that.
33 to 17 by John I.
If I didn’t know I am 33
I would still be 17 wearing
beat-up high-tops with sharpie-colored soles.
I would still have hair on my head,
but it would be hidden under a cut-off
sweatpant leg that I pull over my eyes
my teacher throws a chalk-rag
at my head.
It’s the same now as it ever was;
deficits of attention translated into financial debts
as I age. Doodles in the margins of homework pages
Become entire notebooks. My entire life,
inside a notebook, spiral-bound, perfect-bound,
sharpie-colored, reckless daydream.