How I Turned Invisible

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The first time I was told “only boring people are bored,” I was in second grade. Interpreting it as an insult, I burst into tears and pathetically sobbed “You think I’m boring!” My mom clarified she did not think I was boring, just that I had the ability to entertain myself.  Learning to entertain myself through imagination has been a valuable lesson that often comes in handy, especially in high school.

Don’t get me wrong. I love school. But, sometimes the day drags on.  Due to the fast pace of life outside school and my own restlessness, I depend on constant thought to rescue me from the shameful clutches of boredom. This is why I sometimes make up stories about my teachers and the hundreds of people I see in the hall while rushing to class. I have decided my mind-numbing English teacher is a foreign spy. As a result, I am the only person in class who is not bored into a coma by his monotonous drone. I won’t let him hypnotize me with this sneaky technique.

I became even more interested in these escapist ideas after reading the magical-realist works One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. In both novels, the author conveys an idea by convincing the reader of a reality with unrealistic elements. A book I read describes the contrast between the magical and the realistic as the difference between “story truth” and “truth truth,” and argues the former is often more accurate than the latter because it describes feelings. At times what really happens is not interesting or grand enough to portray how it feels. Emotion is another dimension of truth that does not need to obey the laws of physics, but rather others we cannot identify, if any at all.

This brings me to how I turned invisible. I don’t mean I felt invisible because people were ignoring me. I mean I physically turned invisible for at least ten minutes. While doing homework with my friend Erin in our school library, I glanced up and noticed the library was completely deserted as it was thirty minutes past closing. We concluded we had become invisible as, no matter how diligently we tried to attract the attention of passersby outside the library window, no one looked our way. Through invisibility, Erin and I transported ourselves to the fantastical realm of magical realism. This idea felt more real than our homework.

All the best ideas seem like magical realism at first, even scientific ones.  The first man to walk on the moon came from a time and place in history that considered the equality of women, African Americans and white men an unrealistic concept. Reaching the moon seemed like a device of fiction, a symbol for hope and progress, a representation of the idea that there is no limit to the things we can do. In fact, many Americans at the time thought the broadcast to be a hoax. After all, what is rocket science or quantum physics to most people but magical realism? Then who is to say that any wild creation of the imagination (even invisibility) is wrong? It is not much different than quantum physics.

I am a critical person and know right from wrong when it comes to morals and mathematics.  But, I’ve learned, whether true or not, every story has a lesson to be learned. I suppose this story offers the idea that no matter where one is – how bland or colorful the setting, how dull or intriguing the characters – with the help of a restless imagination, one can never be bored or, for that matter, boring.





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