Dun. . . dun. . . duhhhhhhhh!
That’s a quote by the way, I didn’t decide to probe “my darkest ponds” on my own. It was an assignment. And it wasn’t fun.
My friend and I spent hours discussing what the heck we were going to do about that assignment while wandering around campus the day it was assigned. Neither of us really ended up doing it. I wrote this and she emailed our teacher an extremely long and detailed description of why she could not, would not, and should not do the assignment. I think she probably ended up doing it better than any of us.
I don’t think I have a “deepest, darkest pond.” And I certainly couldn’t think of anything to write about. So I rambled about why I couldn’t and deteriorated into a sword fight with a sea monster (who lives in a deep, dark pond). That bit was atrociously fun to write. My friend gagged upon reading it.
There are a million excuses on my tongue
I had an epileptic fit.
I was temporarily abducted by aliens.
The dog ate it.
My little brother stole it.
I got amnesia (temporarily).
My memories were hijacked.
I got turned into a zombie.
But only one of them is true, and unfortunately it is not nearly as interesting as alien abduction, memory bandits, or even canine starvation.
I simply couldn’t.
I’m not sure why; different theories have been offered. According to some, I’m too good to be touched by sin. Others, there are too many to decide between. Still others say that I can’t admit my sins—a sin in and of itself. Or maybe that I just can’t write about any of it, let alone share it with a class. Or maybe that I just don’t know.
“Indecision!” shout the unhelpfully helpful. What a sin.
Cynicism? Sarcasm? Skepticism?
Others may consider those crimes, but I do not. To write about them as such would be like rubbing a cat’s fur backwards: wrong.
I have a reputation for being difficult. And it’s essentially true. But this is not it. I honestly have given this more thought that anything else this year, save perhaps Wat Tyler’s life and death, which I will not pretend to find less interesting that my darkest ponds. I have tried every angle and come up with zip.
I studied Dante’s circles of Hell for some help in the matter, and found myself guilty of only one vice: heresy, surprise, surprise. Except that, being atheist, I do not view this as a sin, so again, nothing.
Now, I ask you, whether I was expected to come up with a real answer to this. Have I known sin? What is my darkest pond? A quick reminder: I am fifteen years old and not to put a damper on anything, but there’s not a whole lot of evil that I’ve had the opportunity to accomplish so far. And I go to Poly. That reduces the time available for evil deeds by fifty percent. At least.
Not to be a traitor to my own self, but I don’t feel important enough to speak of sin. I am flawed, I grant you that, but sin is a word of the Bible. A word of Adam and Eve, of Jacob, Laban, and Rebekkah, of Moses. Not of ******* ****, who, incidentally, doesn’t even believe those people ever existed. ******* **** is also completely unimportant in the grand scheme of things, incapable of sin greater than teasing her brothers (which, however, some apparently consider the greatest sin of all) and especially of immoral acts considered transgressions against God, excluding the fact that she does not believe in him.
Someone like that is absolutely useless for probing their darkest ponds. Maybe it’s self-delusion in an attempt to hide, but I feel that that is too deep and foreign. I just think that my mind cannot wrap itself around the idea of a fathomable darkest pond which, while within reach, is also lofty enough to cross God. I am no angel, I am no devil, I am human, complete with all the defects.
Like not being able to answer the question “What the hell is most wrong with you and why?”
That’s the best I can do. Analyzing my thoughts as they rattle around my brain attempting to attain some shape. But the jigsaw is missing all its edges and I’m fifteen. Useless fifteen. Incapable of interesting things like sin.
I wish I could meet the sea monster inhabiting my dark pond. I’m sure he’s there, lurking out of sight. But he’s shrouded in mist, taking no specific form and disallowing me to continue self-analysis with any outcome. And I’m not avoiding him. I went looking, double-edge sword in hand, awaiting the leviathan to rise dripping from the water at any moment, hulking and obvious. But my dark pond does not stir. The surface is clear and untroubled by ripples. I throw a stone, perhaps unwisely searching to stir something up. There is no reaction. The monster sleeps, and I must wait.