Your twenties are disgusting, she said, and not in the way that you think of the word disgusting. They are troubling. Your pain and fear is visceral, and you are alone in everything, all of the time. You think you’re not alone but you’re always alone in your twenties. You’re just a child amidst a jungle of high-functioning people and sideways relationships and silver watches that interrupt the lull in your quiet office with their tick, tick, tick. You’re making decisions that can change the direction of your entire life via one conversation with a stranger, one move to the big city, one signature on the dotted line. But you feel sixteen, and you’re much better at being sixteen, navigating the waters of going to a late movie or sweating around someone new and exciting. You aren’t good at signing on the dotted line because you haven’t even perfected your signature yet, because you haven’t had any time, and you can’t remember when laughing with strangers in line opened the door to laughing with strangers in bed, and you had no idea that moving to a new place would change the kind of skin you have or teach you how to be nice. You are constantly spinning and typing and walking and looking at people, and looking at yourself, wondering how you got to that bathroom in that house with that kind of lace on the windows. You’re going to walk downstairs and find someone real to look up to but it’s hard to find that because everybody has some ugly in them. People tell you that being in your twenties is one big sexy production, one fun, flashy extravaganza, and so you keep waiting for the curtains to open so that you can be the star and everyone can applaud you. You work hard and choose your supporting cast carefully so that when the big day arrives, you’re ready to emerge as the sensational hero you were always meant to be. But the truth is, the disgusting truth of it all, she said, is that there isn’t a single person in the audience when the curtains open. That’s what they don’t tell you.