Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   My jaw slammed against the plasti-wooden desk that I was so uncomfortably seated at. Is he some type of psycho? I thought to myself as I struggled to control my mouth from releasing some of the most vulgar language known to mankind. (This was done only at the ever-present threat of a pink slip; a detention, a fate worse than math class.) Why are English teachers so hung up on memories? I wondered to myself as I caught a glimpse of my torturer shrinking into his desk chair. I wanted to scream and yell and cry and hurl blunt objects across the room (preferably at his head) while my emotions, anger, frustration, defeat, and aggravation grew silently stronger as the lingering echo of his hesitant voice reverberated against my brain.

"Write a memory story," he said. "Not a poem, complete sentence," he said, not noticing the irony of his statement. And I suppose he said other things too, things my ears wouldn't allow me to hear as my anger consumed me. For many this was an easy assignment; a ten-minute, blow-off type deal, the kind every student wishes for. But for me, it was torture; a task that could never be fulfilled. For in my existence there was no past, only the present with an (almost) inconceivable bleak future ahead. The events of the past 17 years, the years I am forced to call life (for lack of a better word) are totally unrecallable. Nothing but a few flashes of colors, lights, people, and places, in a non-linear sequence, devoid of time frame and detail were the only proof that I ever existed on this Earth before last week. Someone decided long ago that my life wasn't for living, it was only for existing. Whomever or whatever it was seems to suck each day's events from my mind as silently as a Ninja slays his sleeping enemy. It always leaves the feelings behind, but feelings don't create stories; details and plots and explanations do.

And sure, I had completed the memory poem assignment two weeks earlier, but that was different; poems, at least to me, are self-sufficient, tiny microcosms where the emotions create the event, where time and place are extraneous, where the meaning is conveyed through feelings. The event I wrote about never occurred, the words chosen were mere puppets, pawns in the great scheme of communication.

I tried writing a story of a sad little girl, alone in a big world, then one of a child blissful in her youth and finally one with a girl scared by the imaginary vampire in her hallway, but the sincerity was missing, the details were too vague, the scene bland, and she quickly became a two-dimensional character. Again and again I tried to bring her to life, desperately probing my mind, my soul, to make her alive. And in the end, I learned an important lesson. You can't write a memory of a life you don't feel you own. 1


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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dani01 said...
Jan. 10, 2009 at 5:14 am
i loved that... i totally understand what you ment in your details of it. Goodjob....keep it up!!! :D
 
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