Looking Back

Where do you envision yourself in fifty years? Please describe yourself/your goals/your aspirations.

The man wonders why he has not always thought of himself in the third person, for each day is but a death and a subsequent rebirth. Although disdainful of dramatics, he exudes a talent for tragedy. Upon reflection, however, the incongruity is not so strange: poets, after all, have a special kind of destiny.

He is amused remembering the things onto which he projected such significance, the circumstances that caused him to sacrifice a life.

For as long as he could remember, the old man had wanted nothing more than to become a writer. Recollections are dulled to mere generalities, but the images created by his encounters with words remain fresh and vivid. A child devours the mysteries contained within sentences, exploring universes of anthropoid wildlife and colorful illustrations. Later, a boy revels in worlds of his own creation; the enchantment derived not so much from the process of scribbling itself as from the ethereal wakefulness of invention. With each year, his content and presentation become increasingly sophisticated, and he delivers pieces on a variety of topics throughout elementary school. Adolescence is a period of silence: the uniqueness of a voice assimilated by political necessity into the collective tense of...

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