I am afraid that, at thetender age of 18, I have fallen in love and want to get married. Oh, sure, myparents object, saying it is irresponsible, and my friends think I'm insane, butI pay no attention. I have found my sustenance, my lifelong companion and my bestfriend.
Alas, there can be no ceremony, no exchanging of rings, for I havefallen in love with words. Ah, words. Even as I put them to paper, I am in lovewith them - their power, charm and delicacy. I am one of those who spends all dayin the library, one who loses herself in a novel until four in the morning. I putevery experience, important or mundane, to paper simply because it is too much tokeep all my thoughts inside.
My favorite words are in Jack Kerouac's Onthe Road. I read this book during my year as an exchange student in Ger-many. IfI had been flirting with words before, I fell head over heels when I read thisbook. I had been trying to put all my thoughts down in my journal so that I wouldnever forget all the sensations and conflicting feelings I was having during myyear abroad, but was finding it difficult to describe what I felt and was onlywriting what I had done. As I was trying to assimilate into a new culture, I wasforgetting the strength of words and seeing them only as a tool, a way to getfrom point A to point B.
On The Road helped me to remember and to learn.Ironically, this seminal novel about life on the road made me realize that I cantravel the entire world, but if my imagination is not fertile and always growing,I am stuck in the same place. On the Road helped me realize that going to collegewill help me stretch my imagination and my boundaries as far as possible, andthen beyond.
So, I want to get married, but perhaps I am more polyamorousthan marriage would lead you to believe. I want to marry all manner of words, inall languages, in as many possible forms. I want to marry poetry, limericks,essays and novels; I want to marry German, English, Spanish and Russian words.When I read On the Road, I became engaged. College will help make the marriageofficial.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.