I'll elaborate/revise it when I have the time (college essays have a limit so I could only say so much, and it had to have some kind of point-Ill eventually rewrite this story on my terms)
Some people never learn. Often times, I’m one of the few (the proud) to be considered for this caption. A prime example, I am often reminded, arises in the trifecta of my misadventures—a series of events so daring, so improbable, so downright salty they could wipe the briny sneers off of a table of weathered tall-tale-telling sailors. I understand that it may be difficult to grasp how a single person can commit the same obscene transgression time and time again, yet herein lies proof that such hardheadedness, such blatant disregard for common sense—for all that is good in this world—does indeed exist.
From an early age I manifested signs of a carefree and tenacious impetuousness. As my bewildered parents explained (ex post facto) why cutting up my pillowcase to make my Build-A-Bear a pantsuit, adopting various critters and woodland creatures as pets and serving them Indian food, and singlehandedly dismantling my furniture to rearrange my heinously princess themed room, among other ventures, were not the wisest of ideas, I quickly learned that nodding my head and apologizing for my actions (while conjuring up a hearty dose of mournful tears) was the best way to get out of a fix. I foolishly assumed that this procedure would apply to all adults without further testing and, for the most part, my results were consistent. Cheekily and haphazardly I ran through my childhood, squealing with delight as my parents franticly pumped the breaks to my rouge-running engine. It seems moot to apologize now for my ways, but I was full of some mutant strain of hyperactivity that could be pacified by few forces.
Fortunately, the greatest of these influences was traveling. And we traveled. Each year as we excavated new lands and journeyed to even farther-out destinations, at the top of our itineraries remained a steadfast and constant north star: India. A country with jungles of cities inhabited by mad men and wild women, India to me remains forevermore a colorful and wondrous Neverland, a multi-paced nation that is constantly brimming with throngs of people who manage to navigate the broken roads, unpaved alleyways, and an electrified and hazy atmosphere that comes infused with a heady mixture of dirt and incense and the oh-so pungent smell of animal’s excrement and general muck that seems to permeate all matter and seep from every orifice. We have traveled the roads of this absurd and beautiful place there and back again, and it is here that the first crime of this specific rap sheet arose: enter Agra, Uttar Pradesh.
I'll be brief: it was a ticketing scam and the never-ending fight for justice that ignited this particular powder keg of international affairs. In an especially tender father-daughter moment, my pops, sister, and I fled the oppression of a family-filled household for the unbridled exhilaration of adventure. We escaped via a wheezing, rickety, antiquated train to ride on the highs of a reckless whim destined for the seventh wonder of the world: the Taj Mahal. As we settled into the sticky, vinyl covered seats and picked up speed, my father shined light onto a shamefully little-known crime against humanity: at the Taj, tourists, upon identifying their nationalities, would be charged an entrance fee well over three times the amount that locals were subject to. At eleven and nine years old, respectively, my sister’s and my heads buzzed with indignation, horror stricken as the details of this atrocity came to light. It was in this moment that we solemnly swore to a dark and binding oath: we would not be taken for fools. The plan was simple, clean: rather than pay the tourist fee, we would become one with the local population, blend in with the people and slip by undetected. Summoning the courage of the finest of agents, we swore to out-maneuver both Bourne and Bond, to make Langley and MI6 proud. If questioned, we would not falter, we would not fail. Our true identities were locked in like a steel trap. We were impenetrable. We were infallible.
Easier said than done. For me, at least. My PICs (for those unversed in espionage jargon: Partners In Crime) pulled off the heist with swimming candor and suavity, quickly emerging unto the other side of the inspection booths ready to go. I, however, did no such thing. Initially strolling up to the booth with confidence, I was stripped of purse and pride as rummaging fingers managed to extract a freshly minted US quarter from the depths of my Limited-Too, cross-bodied accessory. Hit by the subsequent barrage of questions in Hindi, I was forced to face facts: I had no idea what anyone was saying. In a desperate attempt to endure, I quickly resorted to my plan B, a plan that rarely failed me: I broke down into a blubbering mess of apologies, tears, and snot, wailing the truth (I...I’M AMERICAN! I’M AMERICAN!) and praying for salvation. This time however, my demeaning abandon of dignity could not save me—nothing could. I had effectively dug myself into an abysmal hole with a child’s shovel: I was ill equipped and over-confident in my conning abilities, and because of it my father had to pay. My acts of shameless groveling and bleating quickly became very real as my father disappeared into the nethers of the ticket line, escorted by two grim-faced security guards. For an eternity my sister and I kicked our legs against the ledge we waited on, her rolling of eyes and refusing to console me only exacerbating my anguish. After much deliberation and paying of fallacious fees, my father returned so that we could walk hand in hand, heads hanging in remorse, unto the grounds of the Taj. It was on this day that I swore to myself I would honor and abide by the rules of the world.
And for the most part, I have done well. Well…I have done my best… Let’s put it this way: since that day, I’ve tried to minimize my parents need to hang their heads in crimsoned shame. I did mention this was a trifecta of misadventures, though. The second transgression took place on the promontories of Greece, wherein, still at a grade-school age, I happily made my way through the dour museums of history and art, covering my eyes and making horrified faces as I was forced to take pictures surrounded by what were (in my humble opinion) nothing short of Freudian, passively-aggressive sculptures of naked men situated atop pedestals, which I suspect were strategically situated so that I always seemed to be eye-to-eye with their you-know-whats. If you asked me, Myron had it coming. If you asked the lovely personnel of said museums, I desecrated the meaning of the statues and was rightfully asked to leave. They would get along well with the employees at Machu Piccu in Peru, who documented my chagrined mug and tossed me out for life after I mistakenly climbed a wall to get a picture of a llama for my little brother. Who was 13 at the time. Like I said, some people never learn.
Or do they? Yes, I manage to flounder time and time again, but although the conventional moral of the story seems to evade me, I have learnt. At nine years old, while waiting outside the barriers of the Taj Mahal for my father to come and take my hand, reassuring me that all was well, it dawned upon me that no one would ever benefit from my feigning to understand the matters at hand, especially not me. Later as I made my way through the gates of Machu Piccu for the first (and last) time, I begrudgingly realized that while attempting to climb barriers with determination and strength of will is an admirable trait, all of the hard work and suffering must be done for a worthwhile reason, otherwise true success will never come to fruition. Furthermore, I will never forget the lessons learned whilst gallivanting through Greece: a sense of humor and a hearty measure of wit will always be necessary and appreciated in life, but only if used with discretion. Believe it or not, there are methods to my madness—to all of our madness—if one only looks deep enough, and I, for one, plan on taking advantage of this by extracting every last ounce of clarity contrivable from the chaos that I seem so compelled to create.
hope yall like it! advice/opinions would be much appreciated
Created: Jan 09, 2011Tullika Document Media