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May 14, 2011
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An English teacher once diagnosed me with Tortured Writer’s Syndrome (TWS). In spite of hyper-scrutiny over every letter of every word, despite an alleged eternity restructuring sentences and paragraphs, and regardless of receiving a high grade on compositions, I am never satisfied with my work. While I acknowledge this compulsion in my writing, I do not embrace TWS. To me, this restlessness is entirely a side effect of my super powers.

I acquired them when my dad set in place the last pole of the swing set. Suddenly, I could do anything I willed. I was a CIA agent descending grime-covered sewers to escape my pursuers where others possibly may have seen a child strident down a slide. If that were true, one without similar prowess witnessed only the flailing legs of an adolescent on monkey bars, blind to me dangling high on luscious thrush of jungle vines to tire a lion below. I found that, even away from the swing set, I could spark life into fabrications with crayons and markers.

In school, I feared its austerity, the switch from Crayola to Ticonderoga, would purge my capacity to imagine. Rather, words, with their infinite combinations and connotations, offered a depth previously absent within fleeting swing set adventures and stagnant pictures. It could be assured others could see the extent of my abilities due to the concrete character of writing. They could vividly travel back in time with me to visit old birthdays and road trips.

But writing was also so welcome to the prior brevity and tangents of my imagination in which one idea would spawn a multitude of others. Words presented a superfluous flow of imaginations. The potential of what I could do had been uncapped, but as with any man with budding powers, I quickly found a nemesis—the wicked nature of time, of deadlines, forever denying me of fully bringing life to thoughts with words. On the swing set, I had lived several exploits within minutes, but it was necessary digressions were made foreign to my abilities to vivify ideas on the graphite-paper medium.

The more I wrote, the fewer and sparser visits to the swing set became; when I did go, I could merely swing or climb the ladder, the childlike quality to my powers had largely subsided. I now feel relatively powerless via swing sets and color. Just as sure as pictures are now static, and swinging and traversing monkey bars does not translate into some grandiose feat, the future is tenacious to meetings with punctuality. Even if the showcase of my abilities now succumbs to the greater power of time, the years away from the swing set illuminate the aptitude of my powers to change. Right now my imagination may take me anywhere with my words, but battles with the treacherous likes of the beast, AP Physics, and the conquest of planet Calculus show it will continue to take various forms with many unique and welcome challenges.





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