The Meaning of a Word This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

April 27, 2011
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How exactly am I supposed to do this? I thought, starring down at the blank sheet of large paper, on which I was apparently going create my “abstract art” What a stupid concept, I thought, just a bunch of splattered colors on a page with out any real meaning. Slowly, I picked up one of the thick brushes on the cement beside me, and, with a dab of red, painted a dark blob in the center of the page. That red dot seemed to look out at me like an angry red eye. Like an eye full of hate.

I began to understand the concept. This wasn’t about lines and colors on the paper; it was about what the word really meant. It was about the hurt and pain of not being able to be with someone you care about, because of hate. About the dissention and destruction that came with it. Hate was not as simple as everyone thinks it is, I thought, taking the black paint and swirling it onto the page, as if I was creating a dark pupil for the blood red eye.

Conversation was going on all around me, but they mean nothing to me. I was in my mind, remembering my older brother, begging for a second chance, a third, and a fourth. A brother who wasn’t really what a brother was supposed to be. My body and mind go numb with painful memories, trying to keep them from surfacing. If they come to light, I’ll cry, I thought, painting with no feeling.

Suddenly, as if coming out of a trance, I look down at the once blank sheet of paper. No white shows on the page now; in its place, a black eye and red pupil bore through me. A black hole, enveloping all the warmth in the world, leaving me cold. The meaning of a word, I thought, putting down my paintbrush, holding down tears no one can see. It is so much more complicated that any will ever fully realize.





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