Just Like Machines

January 20, 2014
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Machines in a factory are always doing the same things. They do what they’re made to do, whether it’s to place the lid on a container or to cut something into a specific shape. They do their job and then they repeat. It was almost as if my school expected us students to do the same.
Our teacher’s loud voice boomed through the room, he said, “You are to finish writing a fictional narrative by tomorrow. Please don’t end it with ‘and it was all a dream’, I hate stories like that.”
As he said finished his sentence, I thought to myself,
Very, very tempting to end it with something he hates… But no, I have to knock his socks off.
My fellow classmates had already started working; it surprised me how fast their brains thought of a plot. Their ideas blossomed onto their paper, creating a kind of art that I’ve always loved and admired. I stared at my paper; blank, nothing. My brain had stopped functioning. It just stopped. I was a broken machine. While everyone else was working, their hands moving towards the right side of the page, only to be pulled back to the left and each step repeated over and over again, I couldn’t think of anything… Not even a word.
I tried hard, I started with a simple word like, ‘the’, however nothing followed after. I slowly became frustrated. It was aggravating to see the gears in everyone else’s minds working except for mine. The worst part was that there was definitely no one who could fix a broken machine like me. The squeaking of my classmates pencils made me twitch. The small whispers and giggles coming from the girls in the back of the class made me tap my foot on the cold, marble floor. The teacher’s voice broke through the cacophony as he said,
“Ten minutes until class is over. I forgot to tell you that you’ll be reading your narrative to the class.”
I glared at him, cursing him silently. I looked at the clock and indeed, there was only ten minutes left. Where the other forty minutes went, no one would know. I turned my attention back to my paper and tried to think with a positive attitude.
It’s alright June, if you don’t finish it at school, you can always finish at home…
My positive attitude was immediately crushed by yours truly as I thought,
Nonsense, “home” is just an excuse, there’s no way you’ll finish it at home. June, it’s time you realized that “home” is just an acronym for what’s going to happen.
H: Homework? I’ll do it later.
O: Oh wait, I have to eat dinner now. I’ll do it later.
M: Morning. Yeah, I’ll do it in the morning.
E: Eat breakfast, go to school. Completely forget I had homework in the first place.
I sat back in my chair, twirling my pencil in between my fingers. My teacher gave me that look that said, “You should be working, not fooling around.”
Well, I’m sure I would be working too, if only I had an idea.
The loud ringing of the bell is what gave me an idea. It was like a light bulb turned on somewhere in my brain, only the bell was a lot louder. The moment I got home, I ran to my desk and started writing. Eventually, I became a machine myself and the next day, I volunteered to read mine first.
As I stood in front of the class staring at the empty bored eyes of my classmates, I then looked down at my paper and read,
“My fictional narrative is called ‘Writer’s Block’”.

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