The one I wish I submitted

Location

May I be frank with you, college essay?

Thanks.

How is it that all my work, all my high school essays and projects and tests and reports and exams and quizzes and models and notes are consolidated, restrained into tiny transcript numbers, little blips rendered potentially irrelevant by a spot of rounding error?

How can I be expected to show my ability as a student within the framework of a few hundred words when I have spent a few thousand hours working my way to this intellectual crossroads?

How can you, an essay of proportionally negligible length, be the determinate of the most important four years of my life when I have lived a life of 17 of them brimming with the experience that defines my being and cannot be summed up in a thousand pictures, much less a thousand words?

How can a few characters show a fully-rounded person, a student who is just as much an athlete with soccer as academic with calculus?

How can I show my interests that span the breadth and depth of the theatrical world, plunging from onstage glory deep into a backstage blackout to be rescued by the repetitive tap tap tap of a worn-in cue with headset on from behind a well-loved lighting board?

How can a few thousand syllables represent the relationships, the teams and teachers, the classmates and companions that have formed the weirdly proportioned and wildly varied fascinations that form my view of how I think?

How can I differentiate myself from the horde, the seething mass of intelligence that I know lurks beyond you, essay, the crowds of those I know must be better, smarter, more accomplished than a kid who has never saved the world, save for inside his head where physics breaks down and he can truly breathe.

How can the tap tap tapping of these keys make a beat that shows the passion for metal and blues and jazz and rock and rap and rhythm and the frustration of listening with brimming incredulity and yet being oh so helpless to recreate that which is idolized?

How can phrases capture the captivation with that which does not come naturally, the burning desire to know, to never be done becoming better at language, expression, acceptance?

How can this string of sentences be so daring by breaking the supposedly airtight formula for getting in, getting ahead, getting the grade for a circular metaphor, an idiosyncrasy, a blatant appeal to what they think you need me to be?

Why should I conform to this broken-in, formless fallacy that is meant to show my inner character when my opinion of the form itself serves that purpose all too well?

That's all I have, essay.

Thanks for listening.

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