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“Some days, I happily trot to the bright, white refrigerator that greets me with its joyful hum. I feel I did well today; I deserve a yogurt. I smile as I grab a spoon and open the refrigerator door and see… nothing. The smile vanishes. My yogurt is gone. The spoon slips out of my hand and clatters to the floor as my world is suddenly devoid of color. I hear the murderous music from Psycho playing in the background, as rage boils through my veins. My vision turns red, as my body cries out for revenge.” I take a dramatic pause and hastily eye the audience from the podium. I snagged everyone’s attention, even the deadbeat dad who has been on his laptop for the past hour. Exhaling, I try and deepen my soprano to make it even more ludicrous. “The refrigerator stops humming.” The crowd of parents and peers alike erupts into guffaws, giggles, and whoops of hysterical laughter. I pause a moment to cease my own snickering; it seems unprofessional, but why not laugh at your own jokes?

The Young Writers Conference showcase, was where I stood at a podium and shared my true voice for the first time, and people listened. I told the inflated story of what occurred when my brother returned home from college: an unassuming tale about pilfered nourishment. I made the audience chortle, and cry, with something I composed, a hyperbole that sprang from my mind like Athena from Zeus. I was proud to have spoken, to have released my thoughts and to have made them a physical reality. I was uniquely humorous in a room of other original oddballs; I had a voice in my writing. I could Scheherazade like no other. People chuckled at accounts of accidentally punching myself in the eye, or running into a house. It made me exuberant to know that I could elicit a smile with words.

The surprise was that I have a sense of humor. I do not often talk aloud; I listen and construct my thoughts rather than express them. To my peers I may seem quiet, but I am much more than a quaint, petite girl with a country accent; more like a six foot three, fast talking, quick witted amazon who likes to squeeze grins out of people. Albeit, that side was rarely heard.

Words are my megaphone, my way of calling out to the world in a never ending apostrophe. This is the real me, right here! Disregard how I seem, my interior is much funnier! That day, the first time I evoked emotion using nothing more than paper and a quivering voice, revealed that I have ideas, sentiments, emotions, opinions, and vignettes to voice and not fear persecution. I know humanity will listen, and I am no longer afraid to speak. I have a voice now, a resonant one; one that will never falter or break, become flagged or hackneyed. My voice will always be heard.




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