Virulent Eloquence

October 20, 2007
By Sawyer Davis, Grapevine, TX

I’m not a malicious person, I promise.
But my strong attitudes, when provoked, burn in me like you wouldn’t believe.
I am generally an amiable person, I promise. But a few weeks ago my decorum went into a lapse.
AP English III. One of my favorite class periods. Diction analysis and AP style writing made me joyous; my words graceful and always reflecting the anthropologic connections I love to make.
But then my altruism vanished. He switched into my class period.
The foreboding he. The one with an attractive, androgynous exterior that encased an awfully pretentious and arrogant interior. He who bragged about his highly mediocre “method” acting and way with words. This boy was my Achilles heel. All I wanted to do was be nice.
He loomed in the back of the class. Just his mere presence caustically ate away at me. This burning brought back memories of an extremely platonic romantic relationship that I try to abolish from my mind. These psychological musings highlighted my proclivity to jealousy and overt self consciousness. His critical comments at my “inabilities” left its mark on me.
Every time an annoying comment left his lips along with his nasal voice, my inner Holden Caulfield wanted to exorcise from my body and lash out irrationally. But my passiveness prevailed. I never made an attempt to assault back.
I hated it. I really did. It takes a lot for me to hate anything. Fortunately one day this changed. I was going to fight back with what I liked best.
Sitting in my desk in English, I received a graded paper that I had composed a few days before. Positive red ink danced across the diction analysis paper. I received a 105. It was outstanding. I could not describe how proud I was of my efforts. Soon this pride would turn into an effective weapon.
My English teacher spoke briefly about our grades. Then something miraculous occurred.
Her large smile and peculiar voice described a paper she thoroughly enjoyed and said that the person who wrote it must read it to the class.
“Sawyer, would you like to read your piece to the class?” she said.
Are you sure?
Well, of course I would.
All I could muster was a nod. I trembled to the podium. Now was my time. The motley class had its eyes on me.
Including the boy whom I depict so negatively. His eyes stared me down, with smirking rounded eyebrows and judgmental cloudiness.
I started to read the paper. I then realized my strategy. The arrogant boy was my target. The words on my paper laid like ammunition. My eloquence was going to be violent.
The introduction to my essay about cultural submission was my declaration of war.
My thesis outlined the weapons I would use.
My higher level words were shot at him like grenades.
My reference to a Jewish death theory proudly resounded like an Uzi.
Adrenaline triumphantly rushed through my veins, My grew louder and boomed histrionically throughout the room. Anxious and stunned pallor spread across the faces of the class, even more so of the obnoxious boy isolated in the far reaches of the classroom.
I was a contradictory Gandhi. I did not cause bloodshed or physical loss, but merely my words were similar to the tragedy of war.
An allusion to the English hat industry cultivating schizophrenia in its workers and comparing it to the country of Jamaica’s cultural submission was my nuclear bomb, the final action.
My gaze was fixed on him the entire duration of my speech. At the end his face resembled Hiroshima. He lay defeated.
I proved to finally be better, unworthy of his criticisms.
The classroom seemed even more silent since the sounds of war and my commanding voice had ceased.
I finally won the boy’s war of narcissist banter. It was evident. Victory was mine.
No applause. There were some silent mouthed “Wows” and a few smiles stretched across some students faces because they knew exactly whom I was directing this virulent show to.
I returned to my desk. I cautiously turned around to see what my verbal combat left of him. His feminine lips seemed pouty and his eyes stuck between confusion and embarrassment.
The anguish was returned to him through language, supposedly a tranquil tool.

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