How I Imagine Justin Bieber Spent His 18th Birthday


6:13 am: Wakes up to a text from Usher that reads, “Happy Burfday lil man.” Groggily texts back “YEAH!” Usher replies with a winking emoji. Falls back to sleep.

7:30 am: Alarm goes off. Wakes up again, next to the still-sleeping Selena Gomez. Legally touches her butt for the first time. Fist pumps in quiet celebration.

7:37 am: Rolls out of bed. Gets dressed and combs hair, keeping in mind the styles of twin fashion icons Aaron Carter and Rachel Maddow.

7:50 am: Prepares himself birthday breakfast. One bowl of Kix (“Kid tested, mother approved.”). One grapefruit. Two slices of bacon, Canadian, of course.

8:25 am: Reads newspaper. Feels deep sadness at the horror in the world. Calls local orphanage and offers orphans three thousand dollars each to do his breakfast dishes. Apologizes to Jesus for the nonconsensual butt-touch earlier.

9:42 am: Changes into workout clothes. Grows vaguely irritated at the fact that Selena is still asleep. Remembers she had a long day of filming the day before. Feels silly.

10:00 – 11:00 am: One hour directed meditation in his in-home bikram yoga studio. Focus on staying centered. After meditation, asks live-in yogi whether to grow his bangs back out. Yogi replies: “You must align your mind and body, Justin.” Bieber nods. Resolves to further meditate on the issue.

11:15 am – 11:30 am: Showers efficiently. Lotions extravagantly. Looks at torso in mirror. Feels like a man. Flexes. Thinks of American Psycho, a movie he has only seen clips of. Hears Selena milling about in the other room. Flexes again. Yeah.

12:03 pm – 2:57 pm: Redressed and recombed, answers fan letters and e-mails from “Beliebers,” members of his enthusiastic fan base. Wonders how a fan dotted the letter “i” with a heart in an e-mail. Makes brief, but sensually charged eye contact with Selena, who sits across the table answering a slightly smaller pile of fan mail. Overwhelmed with gratitude for fame and fortune, neglects to answer a “Happy Birthday” call from his mother.

2:58 – 2:59 pm: Ponders the fleeting nature of both fame and human life. Thinks with despair on own mortality. Wonders how he will die. Remembers he gets to eat ice cream cake later. Perks up.

3:03 pm: Selena asks whether he has seen The Godfather. Starts to answer “Ne-“ but remembers never to say never. Replies with a cheerful: “Not yet!” Selena lowers her eyes in what he swears is disappointment, although she would never admit it.

3:15 – 4:10 pm: A nap. Dreams of flying. Awakens feeling renewed and hopeful. Not in the mood for The Godfather, but decides to watch an old movie. Something from before he was born. Settles on Jurassic Park.

4:13 – 4:22 pm: Calls mother back. Accepts warm wishes of a happy birthday. Reluctantly discusses upcoming tour, recent recording sessions, American politics. Hangs up after giving flimsy excuse about meeting with business manager.

4:23 – 4:41 pm: Mentally scripts prank phone calls to each Jonas brother. Holds back from making them.

4:52 – 6:50 pm: Suggests that Selena watch Jurassic Park with him. She agrees. They watch the movie. Both feel underwhelmed by the special effects.

7:04 – 8:27 pm: Birthday dinner with friends and family. Family-style Italian at a local chain restaurant. Delicious, if a little carb-heavy. Ice cream cake follows. It reminds him of his own mortality. Thinks: “Will I ever enjoy ice cream cake the same way again? Is this what being an adult is?”

9:00 – 10:00 pm: Private room karaoke with friends. Feels the nakedness of his voice without studio effects. Admires it. Thinks again of American Psycho and also now Dreamgirls. Remembers a scene from Big with Tom Hanks, a movie he once saw on television and whose name he cannot remember. Feels good. Holds hands with Selena.

10:33– 11:06 pm: Cuddles with Selena. Tells her he had a nice birthday. Does not mention recurring worries about his own historical significance and physical longevity. They fall asleep together on a bed that, while not made from money, cost as much as a bed of the same size, were it to be made of money.

11:07 pm – Morning: Dreams of flying again. This time, with wings. At first they are uncomfortable, but he soon grows accustomed to them. Sleep interrupted by sporadic texts from Usher regarding the number of attractive women in various Atlanta nightspots.

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