A Writer's Dance

November 30, 2011
By Myles Maietta BRONZE, Tempe, Arizona
Myles Maietta BRONZE, Tempe, Arizona
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The day was unusually windy and the air had such an affirmative chilliness to it that it bestowed upon the napkin a crisp gauntness as it fluttered about the top of the lunch table. These cool winds of the day gave the napkin a sense of sleek agility as it coursed its way up and down through the wafting breezes outside. I caught the rectangular tumbler out of the corner of my eye and, from then on, I was unequivocally engrossed in its movements. I was grateful for the demonstration the napkin gave me as watching this spectacle was beginning to put me in a creative writing mood.
My eyes, now transfixed on the brown paper acrobat, did double takes, succumbing to near disbelief, at how impossibly eccentric and extravagant the maneuvers the napkin completed were. The napkin danced in the wind with affluent ease as if it were at a formal dance. The elegance of its creases and folds focused light to the vicinity of such fantastic characteristics that shadows formed in the most unique places on the prancing tissue paper. These shadows and other contrasts of light dressed the napkin in a tuxedo made of shade and obscurity that I could not steal my gaze away from. Now the napkin truly was elegant as it frolicked in and out of contortions that the mighty wind eagerly brought in and out, through and through again, the wafer thin tuxedo wearer. Moving fluently, the slim aerialist eventually dismounted from the air and sulked motionless into the ground, letting everyone know that its dance was complete. Saddened that the elegant sachet had commenced but, at the same time, eager to earnestly express dedication to my English class for the remainder of the period, I finally stopped staring out the window of my classroom, fixing my stare on my teacher now instead of the outside lunch patio.
“There is nothing more important than developing your own voice. Tell your reader the story you wish to tell, present the facts you find to be convincing and provocative, recount a story that changed your life in some way and, through all of this, establish your presence as a writer,” my English teacher said emphatically to the class.
“I don’t understand the point in all this. I wish I could just turn in a bullet point list of my arguments and be done,” I muttered just loudly enough for my teacher to hear. Immediately regretting this remark, along with the focused laser beam of attention it afforded me from my teacher, I shrank back into my chair like melted gello.
“Now, Myles, how do you expect to convey any kind of argument or personality in your writing with only bullet points?” my teacher rebutted. “If you can craft a cohesive and convincing paper with only bullets, and you’re confident it will earn the grade you desire, then go ahead and turn one in to me for your final paper of the quarter,” my teacher finished. Obviously defeated at the impossibility of this task, I shifted my attention to the crafting of my paper. Realizing that I had conceited to his rhetorical victory and confident that I was not going to speak up again, my teacher continued his lesson, driving home his most poignant point during the waning minutes of the class period. Saving the most important information of the lesson for the last seconds of class as he always loved to do, I ingested valuable words of wisdom as they flowed from my teacher’s mouth through the intermittent ringing of the bells that marked the beginning of the trek to my next class,.
“Think of your papers and writings as a formal dance between you and the audience you’re targeting. Always be sure to dress to impress, drive your points home, and dazzle them with the moves you make on the page,” my teacher preached with emphatic insistence. I needed no further motivation for the remainder of my writing career after hearing these golden, agile words.
That night, as I sat hunched over at my desk crafting my first truly expressive essay ever, I poured every fathom of motivation I had into my writing. A formal dance of words unfolded out on my page as I dressed my intimations and ideas with the most premium and excellent figurative language I could contrive without forcing an unwanted outfit on my words. Personal connections and figurative language cloaked my paragraphs in sleek black and white while intricately chosen facts woven steadfastly in and out of my intimate opinions on the matter gave my writing an emblematic air of confidence, ensuring my words would attract the attention of all who read them upon arriving at the dance. I learned to twist and turn my arguments like an acrobat of prose in order to conform to any discussion or set of restrictions. Effective and varied sentence structure and grammar established the framework upon which my words were constructed, serving as the spacious dance floor where my words could express their talents. I chose my words extremely carefully as I knew they were sensitive constructs. They enunciated my ideas with the delicateness of a temperate breeze, with the ability to flip, twist and flutter my intentions and facts in every way imaginable. If chosen wisely, this breeze of words would make my writing shift through the air with the elegance and conviction of a ballroom dancer, allowing them to dazzle and impress any critic. If chosen poorly, my words would sway my arguments about the wind in the most uncomfortable and undesirable ways, elevating my writing to an unsafe level above the lunch table, where the downfall of my literary composition would be inevitable. I knew that it only took the slightest misinterpretation of my words to send my writing slicing through the air and crashing to the ground, bringing its dance to an abrupt end. Now with my paper finished, it was up to my teacher to decide whether or not to let my words hover in the air in an elegant state of movement, or to send my prose crashing to the ground, bringing an early end to the aerial masquerade.
After waiting two tedious weeks for my teacher to finally return my paper, I was elated to lay my eyes on an A- on the cover page. My marked improvement caught the attention of my teacher as well.
“Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn in bullet points Myles?” he said to me humorously.
“Yeah, I guess I am,” I muttered softly in reply, still in disbelief. In all my years in schooling up to that point, I had never put so much effort to express myself or my ideas in one, singular body of work. I was elated. Through this, I learned that language and writing is one of the most fundamental means by which I can express myself and, through good writing, I can personalize my argument and express my voice to others. Although not as pleasing to the eyes and ears as movies or music, nothing expresses the intricacies of a person’s personality and style with the accuracy that carefully crafted writing does and it is this skill, utilizing writing as an expressive art, that I appreciate the most. As I exited my English class to go to lunch that day, I threw my first resplendent paper ever up in the air in exultation where it drifted about in accomplishment. The other tissues and scraps of parchment strewn about the patio twittered in elegant approval as my paper buoyantly glided into its final act, giving one last twist and glance at the audience before coming to rest softly on the lunch table. The dance was a success.

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