Son of Man

January 18, 2008
By Michael Lewis, Lansdale, PA

Apples are great but what is behind the apple? Is it the face of a young man perplexed as to why he is here? Or is it an image that we cannot describe on this plane of existence? Let us take a look and dive behind the apple because behind that apple is you.

At four years old you don’t know much about the world and the way it works. Your overly egotistical mind tries to process things faster than you can understand them. Suddenly you are plunged into a place with all new faces and things to see. Preschool is not without a sense of distance and regret. Every day you are forced to go to the same place for the same amount of time and for the same reason. No one knows what that reason is but from what you are told, it will help you in the grand scheme of life.

Fast forward into first grade. Again, immersed into a sea of unknown. The same boring routine is placed in front of you and the realization that this will be your life punches you in the face. A nice punch because you still have plenty of time to worry about what will happen in the future. This comes as no surprise to any one since you have eleven more years to contemplate what will happen after high school. The rest of your elementary school days are playfully drained and the next thing you know, you’re getting older.

Middle school is scary and big. You don’t know where any of your classes are, no one is helping you like they used to, and everything seems so much bigger and louder than ever before. All of your assignments are difficult and hard. Grades and honor roll are staring you in the face and pressuring you to do well. Study time is increased ten fold. People from all different schools are squeezed into one big mess. And yet you still find a way to survive in the giant rat race of life. There is no one to talk to and no one to hold your hand any longer.

Next is high school, the last leg of the race. Now even more new faces are placed in your life. Projects are dolled out at an intense rate. Research papers for every one. Not one moment is spent without you thinking why you are even here. Why do all your teachers hate you? Why do they decide to fill your life with home work every night? You wonder how much more of the cycle you can take. There must be some bigger cause for all of this but it hasn’t made itself apparent at all. The year is almost over and your final days are filled with relief but cautiousness. Finals came and they hit you by surprise. Two hundred question tests that can’t be fair but you still have to do them. After finals it seems like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. But don’t get your hopes up. Right after the summer comes another year of torment.

This is the worst year of your life. Trying to balance school and work and friends seems almost impossible. You work at a supermarket for minimum wage and the payroll department keeps messing up your paycheck one way or another so you don’t get paid until your fourth week of work. Force feeding bar codes into a scanner may sound fun but you actually hate it. Your back hurts every day after work and the bike ride home is terrible. Your feet ache from standing around all day at work and school. You’d expect that when you get a customer time would pass faster than if you had none at all. This however is far from the truth. Your shift ends and you can finally take your fifteen minute uphill bike ride home.

The next day at school you find out that some one has been teasing your girlfriend during her lunch period. This angers you and you ask around as to whom it might be. You find out who it is but you can’t fight him since he’s in a completely different lunch period than you. You worry all day about the things that this punk and his little snobby friends are saying about your girlfriend. It sucks because you can’t stop him and you can’t be there to protect her.

That night you ask your father if you can go out to a restaurant with your girlfriend for your one year anniversary. You asked him a week ahead of time and he said it would be fine. But that night he says he’ll think about it. Now you have to tell your girlfriend that you might not be able to celebrate the best day of your natural born life with her. Now she’s upset and won’t talk to you and you worry what guy she’s running home to talk to about her issues. Later it turns out that you can go and everything settles over until that night. You forgot to buy her something nice you big idiot! But she doesn’t mind since you haven’t gotten paid she understands.

School is still terrible. You have projects galore and no idea what to do them on or how you’re going to have enough time to complete them. Then homework piles up and you can’t get it all done. Your parents get angry and ground you repeatedly and you won’t see your friends for another three months. You almost aren’t able to go to the junior prom but you make it by the skin of your teeth. The year is almost coming to a close and you feel the pressure of the PSSA’s. You take them and they weren’t as hard as you made them out to be after all.

These are all the events behind the apple. Your life and the interactions between you and your peers are all just a shroud over your face.

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