For your reading pleasure, I submit the following essay as a birthday present from me to myself and you. I wrote this 12 years ago for a class in college. I have not edited the paper whatever, no matter how much it burns me to read some of the sentence structure issues I see with it now. I think it’s more important to preserve the past so that I can accurately track my progress as a writer. Nevertheless, I hope you will enjoy my essay as much as I enjoy remembering it.
February 7, 2008
“My Moment of Change”
Life was good for me up to about 21 years ago. I was having a great time swimming through each day like a water snake through the Mississippi River. I would spend most of my time floating around in circles, never really doing anything (re)productive. It could not have been a simpler lifestyle for a single-cell organism such as myself. That is until one fateful day when things changed forever.
I was minding my own busineass in my own private world when all of the sudden there was a sudden commotion. All my brothers around me suddenly started to go ballistic, jumping around and causing quite a ruckus. Disturbed by commotion, I decided to go check out what all the fuss was about. As I got closer to where my brothers had gathered, I could hear them talking in a low but frantic murmur. I perked up and started to listen in on their conversation, and I think I heard one of them say something about ‘striking it rich,’ but I can’t be too sure. Whatever was said, it mattered very little because all of the sudden I felt myself being forced away from the world that I had known for all my life.
My brothers and I were led into a vacuum down a series of winding tubes which only gave us relief when we entered a long straightaway with a light at the end of it. We all screamed helplessly as our world as we knew it was being left behind for bolder and broader horizons. I cannot remember the rest of our journey in its entirety but I do know that what came next was so painful that I still cannot believe I lived through it.
We had arrived in an uncharted area with rapidly closing and opening walls which threatened our lives, but that was not what we were truly afraid of. All of us were covered with a powerful acid that immediately began eating at our outer layers relentlessly. I was surrounded by all of my relatives who were crying out in pain, begging for shelter from the storm. I, too, felt a terrible pain as my brothers dissolved in the acid by the hundreds. I have never felt more like dying than on that day, when I witnessed the genocide of my people.
There was only one of my brothers who could think logically at such a time. Sperman, a mentor of mine, grabbed me by the head and told me we needed to head for shelter. Although I was nearly destroyed as well, he and I ascended into a new land, where I saw the only salvation I could find in this desolate frontier. They were very large circular protective bubbles, and Sperman told me we had to break through one of them for safety. He and I went quickly straight for them, not knowing the struggles still ahead of us.
We both began to attack the walls of these protective bubbles. While it seemed impossible for us to breach the barrier, we both charged it numerous times. With each blow, I could feel the acid burning me nearly to a point of disintegration. But, we persevered for some time and eventually, I had forced entry into one of the walls. As I began to breathe my air of accomplishment, I finally realized I had made it, I was safe inside a place where I would spend my next nine months. However, my brother was not so lucky.
As I looked through the walls surrounding and protecting me, I saw my brother Sperman looking back at me, clearly exhausted. As I realized what had happened, I was forced to understand what had happened: he had given everything he had just to make sure one of us survived, that our family may live on. That is the day I realized what it means to be who I am, a survivor.
Sometime in mid October 1986, was my moment of change- nine months before I was born.