The Kaleidoscope This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

September 23, 2009
It’s like looking into a kaleidoscope, isn’t it? I could be any one, (or anything,) writing to you from anywhere. (Though the fact that this is English will narrow it down to human beings) I keep changing right before your mind’s eye, don’t I?

As far as you know, I could be an alien writing this on some distant moon (but considering this is a true story that isn’t as unlikely as you may think). Or, perhaps, I am you from some far distant future, or some long forgotten past. But, for simplicities sake, let’s say that I am me and leave it at that.

As I said before, this is a true story. A story about a kaleidoscope, not the kind you’re thinking of, filled with bits of bright colored paper or plastic glitter. No, this about the kaleidoscope we look through every day, filled with fascinating people, intriguing situations, and bizarre occurrences. I’m going to show you a brief glimpse through my kaleidoscope.

The sky is a bright blue. Little clouds, like lost sheep, dot the horizon. The air is crisp and cold, surrounded by towering mountains it seems as though it is its own little world. To those who have never left the confines of these mountains, the vastness of the world may surprise, mystify, and baffle them directly back into their beautiful valley. Leaving this place would be an adventure, something they dreamed about as children, but never did fulfill. That is exactly what I’m doing, I’m leaving the valley. Only for a little while. Still though, I am going. Into a world that I’ve only read about, or received souvenirs from.

A song from the Wizard of Oz plays through my mind, “We’re off to see the wonderful Wizard of Oz”, I sing quietly to myself. “You’re driving,” my dad says as he tossed me the keys to the dark blue VW bug. “Really?” I ask. He nods, “Just don’t kill us.” Soon enough, we’re part of a picturesque scene, a little blue car driving off into the direction of tall mountains, while the sun shines happily above.

As amazing as my little car is, it has one blaring flaw. It’s haunted. No, really it is. I have witnesses to prove it. You do not drive my car at night. You do not drive it alone, EVER. It’s a spooky little car. But that didn’t really matter right then because of three reasons: One, it was six in the morning, Two, I wasn’t alone, and Three, I wasn’t in the passenger seat (Thank God, really weird stuff happens to the passenger seat). But, as the day progressed, I would soon lose reasons One and Three. For the loss of reason one, I blame the sun, it moves too fast. For the loss of reason two I blame myself, by seven thirty I had frightened my father into taking back the keys.
By around four in the afternoon we had crossed the mountains and were now suffering from a serious case of the munchies. We stopped at a gas station on the edge of a Navaho reservation. As I stepped out of my adorable little car I realized that Arizona, like Nevada, is really, really hot, dusty, and dry. I suddenly missed the valley. But my yearning for a cooler climate was soon forgotten when I spied, (I spy with my little eye,) standing behind the counter, a remarkably attractive young Native American gentleman. As I browsed through the candy isle, my mind silently nibbled upon this newly found eye candy when it happened upon the dangerous thought of “I wonder what he will look like in twenty years”. Big mistake there brain, for right at that moment another man walked in. Another Native American man. Not so attractive, and not so young. As I left the store, clutching my bag of candy corn, silently sulking back to my passenger seat, I realized that some people, like certain types of meat, do not age gracefully.

Now you are probably wondering where we’re going and the answer will surprise you. Here it comes…… The International Poetry Convention held in Las Vegas, Nevada! How many of you wouldn’t be caught dead there? Go on raise your hands and proudly admit that you think that there are better things to do in Vegas than go to a poetry convention. Let me give you a tip, there isn’t (not any good ones anyway). Slot machines are cheesy and you lose money at the tables. The shows are sometimes cool (like the Russian Ice Ballet) but they’re usually pretty stupid. Alcohol is out of the question unless you twenty-one, and even then it is a mindless pursuit that can be achieved almost anywhere.

When you’ve been there more then once the neon lights lose their glitter, and you began to realize that the city of Sex and Sin, the rich and famous, is filled with poverty. You don’t have to drive far off the Strip to be in the ghettos. Run down pawnshops, and houses with cardboard windows are walking distances from the grand hotels that you see on TV. Is there a better place in the world for poets than where worlds collide? Are not the paths of literature littered with the shattered corpses of dreams that failed to take flight inside of a dark and cold world? The city that never sleeps, illuminated by the blinding neon lights, is one of the darkest places any human has ever laid eyes upon.

My dear reader, in case you haven’t noticed, you are now in possession of a few fragmented pieces of my kaleidoscope. For I am a person you have never met, and most likely will never meet (unless, of course, I am you and you are me but that’s besides the point), yet you now know something of me.

I have also glimpsed you. In the act of reading this, you have told me something about yourself. I can picture you now, reading this, then the scene changes, you now are reading this elsewhere. You have brown hair, blonde hair, black, red, maroon with purple stripes. But, my dear reader, the most fascinating thing about you is that you are there. That you cared enough to spend your time reading the thoughts of another human being who will most likely have no other effect upon your life then what you have just read, For that I thank you.

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