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The Human Condition

I was probably in second grade when I first became self-aware. No, it wasn’t painful, just surprising to unexpectedly find myself watching my self and wondering why I did the things I did. Eating orange popsicles until I was ill. Afraid to talk to the cool kids. Botched attempts to run away from home. Tantrums. Preferring rainy afternoons helping my mom in the kitchen to roughhousing with the neighborhood kids. I was a giant head floating through space, discovering that I would always experience the world as a sort-of-fuzzy and semi-transparent head forever critiquing its body for its┬áthin voice, emotional hang-ups, physical fears, and that plaid shirt and periwinkle sweater combo. For this gift of self-consciousness, I could blame my parents or God or screwy serotonin levels or I could simply chalk it up to the human condition. Instead, I blame the school photographer.