(I recently wrote this paper for my English class and I am pretty proud of it. I know it has nothing to with videogames, but if anybody so chooses I would love to hear feedback.)
Memories without substance fail us. To remember an action renders that moment important to us in some matter, but most memories are a few pieces short of a complete puzzle. Memories grow fainter from the moment they're conceived. We have to attach ourselves to the wandering puzzle pieces so that what we consider most precious isn't forgotten. It is simple for us not to misplace memories that are substantial not only to us but to society. That's why it's easier for you to retain who won the presidential election than it is for you to remember what you had for breakfast this morning. We maintain this knowledge to be able to repeat it to others so that they gain our memories. You tell stories, whether in conversation or written down, in order to relay your memories to others. In essence you are binding yourself with the person. Memories fuse us into one mass. Then we have memories that aren’t substantial to anyone but ourselves, yet we remember them more clearly than other past events. This seems to be in contradiction with the idea that memories shared by a group are the most complete and full, but it is our personal memories which define ourselves, and become part of our daily lives. This is not to say that memories held by the many are unimportant, but we rarely identify ourselves with them. September 11th 2001 would be an exception to this thought because while it is a memory shared by many, most Americans were affected on a deep personal level from the terrorist attacks. The most significant memories influence our inner beings. I have a memory that has affected everything from the way I act to the way I dress.
Nestled into a cranny of earth near the trodden path is a dull burgundy school house named for its coat. The entrance to this holding cell is guarded by a towering plate of glass much too large for children to heave ajar. Each hall is observed by sentries to protect the younglings from the vices of men. From daybreak till sunset children are crammed into the classrooms to be taught lessons of trivial importance. Their parents are unaware of their own frivolous spending for this instruction. Each classroom is equal parts refectory, lessons area, and play space. Most of the day was spent in the play space while unsurprisingly the least amount of time was used for actual teaching. On the base of my classroom was a bland rug which was stained from several years of wear. Decade's worth of tossed up lunch had seeped into the fibers of the mat, but on no account was it washed. The walls were lined with shelves to take care of numerous playthings. The children would not always take the best care of these toys, and most of dolls ended up being ridden with diseases. In the refectory the tables were usually enclosed in filth from dim toddlers who fooled around with their lunches. The tile floors of the refectory gave off an appalling stench from never being mopped, and the petite fridge in a nook on the rear wall hummed shrilly through the day. My recollection accorded during the latter part of a typical day at Little Red School House.
This memory should be a faint glow that smoldered long ago, but this thought continually heaves me into reminiscence about my childhood. I vividly recall all of the fine points and peculiarities of the event. I was again caught nibbling away on a classmate's forearm—a practice that I was particularly fond of in my youth. The daycare employee had noticed me from a distance and rushed over to stop what she considered to be atrocious. This monstrosity of a woman easily took me in to her grasp and spit me back out into the hallway. She screeched at me louder than even the nastiest demons while I paid no attention to her, because the beauty behind her was captivating me. In the corner near the latter part of the hall was a world that had no connection to mine. Majestic creatures from the size of gnomes to colossi were all a living part of this foreign prison. These beings were barred behind a shield that was naked to the eye but known to the touch. These fish were living lives completely alien to my early thought process—my father and mother were never admirers of pets— and yet I had never seen anything so beautiful. Then the witch noticed that I was in my delusional state and she made me flee from this feeling that had always escaped me before. The woman threw me down in the hall outside the rooms of the older groups and left me to question my actions. Now I had nothing to stimulate me. I was left to fair for myself in this oblique wing. After a while it seemed I would not have a single passerby for the entire stay. I gazed at the bare fortifications that surrounded me for the fear of doing nothing was enough to tug my sanity out. The tiles were a bit better than the walls. At least the tiles had a congruent pattern. The walls were nothing more than unimaginative rectangular columns. Before my mind was able to become putty I spotted my savior. A boy from one of the older groups had been punished in a similar fashion of mine. Fate had brought us together. If it weren't for this boy I wouldn't be unique. I would be as bland as a rectangular column. My Jesus wore not a white robe and a crown of thorns, but a child's cowboy outfit. Everything about the way he dressed was completely unordinary and ingenious. From his boots that were a darker tint than that of a night barren of light to his sheriff star which boldly displayed his name. This was more foreign to me than the fish tank, and I enjoyed it!
It would seem like this memory should be meaningless to me. That it's just an insignificant event that got stuck in mind by some mishap. This was no accident. I was destined to live that day for it has completely shaped what I am and what I want to be. I probably didn't spend more than a minute with this kid, but I have narrowed this down to a big turning point in my life. This is where I first realized that I didn't have to be part of a crowd. I could be myself and enjoy life how I want it not how it is handed to me. I don't just follow the normal pattern of life. Instead I try to break free from the chains that bind me (these chains would be my parents, teachers, colleagues, and acquaintances), and by my own individual self. My personal philosophies on subjects from religion to politics all were formed by me asking questions and seeking answers. If I were to just stay bound to the ideas of the people around me than not only would my life be acted out in a different manner, but I would also be a distorted man. I wouldn't be my fun quirky self as I believe I am, but instead would be no better than a mindless drone. I am my own self, and I owe it all to a child that I met when I was a toddler, and he probably has no recollection of me.