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Hello In There! This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   It's strange, but I remember many things that never actually happened. For years I was convinced that my mother had told me that little people live inside the TV. I developed a very clear picture of what the inside of a television set looked like. There was, I knew, a confused jumble of pictures and faces, rather like the messy collages that we made in nursery school with pictures cut out of magazines. When the television was turned on, the correct characters would disentangle themselves from the mass, come to the front of the TV, and begin their performance. I was pleased that I was clever enough to have realized the silliness of my earlier idea of television mechanics, which involved little elves who would paint the programs on the screen. I knew, with my four-year-old wisdom, that nobody could paint quite that quickly.

I remember that I spent many happy afternoons changing channels, trying to see the little people run up to the screen. I never did get to see them, but I knew that they were there. Time passed, and I started school, and I learned how television really worked, but, though I knew the mechanics, one part of me still believed that Big Bird lived in my television set. For years, I accepted both ideas. Then, when I was about nine, I mentioned to my mother that she had once told me about the people in the television. She laughed, and told me not to be ridiculous, that she would never tell such a thing to a child. I knew that she was wrong: she had told me, for I had believed in the collage all of my life. It was the first time I ever considered that my mother might lie to me. I was crushed, and humiliated that I accepted such a childish idea. As corny as it is, a lot of magic went out of my life when I learned that there aren't little people inside the television set. n


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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