Do you want the story-truth? Or do you want the happening-truth? Well, since you’ll be living with me, I’ll let you in on a little secret: the story-truth is my best friend as I embellish the chronicles of my life, though upon this occurrence do not come within a five-foot radius of my thrashing arms and speedy words. This is a warning. And don’t try to calm me, it won’t work. I will, however, disclose a few of the cold, hard facts in this letter and I’m sure you will uncover the rest over time.
Let me start by saying that I am completely secular, one of the only things that I pursue religiously is showering. I hope that you are not the kind of person who waits until the Chanel perfume that Santa left in your stocking three Christmases ago can no longer mask your funky smell. In addition, religiously speaking, I use the internet. Sometimes I overdose on Instant Messenger - signs to watch for are uncontrollable shaking, pupils dilating, body temperature dropping, eyes losing focus. Admitting a problem is always the first step to recovery.
My friends tell me that I am a perfectionist, an overachiever, or they just tell me I’m crazy. I work until all hours of the night and frequent the 24-hour deli for numerous study-breaks. If I controlled the earth’s orbit, there would be 25 hours in a day and eight days in a week. My second home is school; I spend more time in the halls of academia than in the archeological dig site that is my bedroom. My third home is clearly the local Starbucks as 75% of my body mass is no longer water but a medley of caffeinated beverages.
I am a firm believer that the common saying “the early bird catches the worm” is a fallacy. My inability to wake up early is unparalleled and my love-hate relationship with my snooze button has worn on me through high school, though I have managed to get by pretty well. Regardless, I plan to master the art of my alarm clock by the time freshman year is over. Also, I plan to learn how to be in two places (maybe three or four) at once. I plan to become more independent as I shed my superego and focus on my own metaphysical philosophies. Upon this realization of self, I plan to inspire the young, quite possibly through a mentoring program off-campus and the old way of campus publications and the campus TV station. That was my inner-Emerson speaking.
I value the English language, so please don’t abuse it. I use literary elements and figurative language colloquially, particularly alliteration. Why waste wise words? I cringe at those who use unneeded definite articles: I was once on line to buy movie tickets when the woman in front of me asked for “two tickets to ‘The Titanic.’” Honestly, lady, you’re seeing the movie, you aren’t going on the boat! It irks me when people ask who I’d like to meet. It’s whom I’d like to meet! I’d like to meet someone who knows the difference between a subject and a direct object! And I love a good double entendre, though I go crazy for the rare triple entendre. Exhibit A: I have a problem with subways - processed meat more closely resembling the rubber on the soles of my shoes soaked for months in chemicals covered in a cacophony of colored condiments. Don’t be confused with - Exhibit B - the underground system. I do fancy the subway ride from Times Square to Grand Central to Chinatown.
Literature is life. I am a wannabe Transcendentalist and one day I will find my own Walden in the brush of South Dakota and declare myself a Self-Reliant American Scholar. I lay in bed at night and pull a few Edith Whartons as I cathartically write, though I do not associate myself with Ethan Frome. Frank McCourt is my favorite author, though I accidentally annoyed him when I went to hear him speak. He misinterpreted my question, I swear, but if you ever meet him, please do not mention my name. My favorite book is Siddhartha and I aspire to be the next Ferryman, as I have learned that one cannot be held back by the constraints of time because time is cyclical. There is no past nor future, only the present moment. And in this present moment there are three things that I desire: the universality of the “Om,” a British accent, and a strawberry-banana smoothie.
Alice N. Wonderland
P.S: I’m being pseudonymous.
P.P.S: Call me Ally.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.
This piece won the May 2006 Teen Ink Nonfiction Contest.