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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Golden Fun: The Lost Age

It was a simple project. "Land of Creativity," it was called, or something like that. We were asked to create a fictional country, and answer questions such as, "What is your country's national anthem?" and "What are the national holidays in your country?" Our sixth grade English teacher, David Gower, expected and wanted stupidity. I think the example he gave of a fictional country was "Coca-cola Land". I hated that teacher. All my fellow sixth graders followed his example, inventing boring derivative countries such as "Chocolate Land", "Hockey Land", etc. Yawn. I wasn't one to do what I was told as I was told, though. My inspired choice was to make the fact that my country was nonexistant be the defining element of my country. I named it Nonazang, and decided that it would exist 13 miles past the middle of Nowhere. That is, if you ever get so lost that you find yourself in the middle of Nowhere (Nowhere containing all nonexistant places, separate from Somewhere which contains all existant places), and then go thirteen miles past that, you'll get there. Their flag was a white piece of paper. For their anthem, I even added music to the lyrics, so I think it was my very first musical composition. But of course, the music contained only one repeating note, that being C. One has to start somewhere, I suppose. The questions I received pushed me to reach new levels of inspired insanity, precisely because I never answered the questions in the spirit they were asked. I devised an entire system of ineffectual government, of an ineffectual society, of a completely useless but ultimately endearing culture. When I was asked to describe a great war that took place in my country, I skillfully dodged the question by stating that while no war had ever taken place in Nonazang, every war that had ever taken place in Nonazang was won by Nonazang's armies of Themselves. (What the Themselves would have done, I explained, is bore the enemies to death. Literally.) But then I got a question which I simply could not answer. I was supposed to describe something interesting that had happened in Nonazang. I patiently explained to David Gower that this contradicted the three Laws of Nonazangian Nonoccurence:
  1. Nothing interesting has ever happened in Nonazang.
  2. Nothing interesting is happening in Nonazang.
  3. Nothing interesting will ever happen in Nonazang.
David Gower wasn't interested. I never wrote anything that creative after that year. Except for music, which became my refuge from a world which doesn't care for abstract, unpractical imagination.

Here's an interesting thing I've discovered. While I'm writing, I have no idea where I'm heading. I just improvise as I go along. But God always has a greater structure in mind for me, and this only becomes clear in retrospect. The 5-year time frame between second and sixth grade was clearly one "movement" of my life. After that, there is another five-year movement, which will soon be coming to a close. The former started out badly, got better up to the middle, and then got worse until the end, at which point I had become depressed to the point of wanting death. The current movement began as the high point of my life, and has been descending ever since in the Real World, while my love of videogame worlds was only hinted at in the first year and has been increasing ever since. In the middle, when I was applying for schools because the one I was in, Dvir yeshiva for Music and Art, was closing, I was asked for one application what I would like to change about myself for the future. My answer was: "I would like to be more serious." "Why?" they asked. "Because it's good to be serious," was the best response I had.

A month or two ago, I was looking for a book in my closet, when I came across my old Nonazang papers. I read them with pride and a little disbelief. I had completely forgotten that I was capable of such writing! It was then that I understood that the Mory of five years ago, who had not been training himself to fit into the Real World and only cared about his own imagination and quirkiness, was a much better person than me. And I have tried my best, in sharp contrast to the past five years, to not act my age. And you know what? It's much more fun. That didn't stop my second serious depression period from coming, but it gave me a way to deal with it. So what if I have no hope in the Real World? The Real World is my enemy. It always has been. I can't stop my miserable relationship with it, but I can ignore it as I did five years ago. And now I will succeed, because I have other worlds to occupy myself with.



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