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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write something in the YOUNG ADULT or TEEN genre (06/07/07)

TITLE: The Thinking Place


I am at the top rung now. I am certain I am safe. I am alone and can have my quietude, my moments, my secret thoughts, my search for God. These thoughts will stay here until the next time I can come visit. The cigarette tastes satisfying and it gives me that small euphoria with each inhale. I do not mind the pain though now. The pain is worth the few moments I have here in my secret get-away. I am behind the billboard sign way up here on top of the hill over-looking my neighborhood. I can see the big City of Angeles in front of me; the train station is just to the south. Behind me I can see the Hollywood sign in the haze and if I look far beyond the city on a clear day, I can see the ocean. There is a perfect spot for me here to sit and wonder about stuff or make some plans. It must be about four o'clock, the daylight just beginning to fade in intensity and the air becoming a bit cooler as an ocean breeze begins to loft its way through the undulating hills around me. The breeze gives me goose bumps and a shiver for a brief moment as I tuck my knees up under my chin on the ledge and stare out at the world below me. I am in my thinking place.
I know I can not stay here too much longer today both physically and emotionally. I must enter back down into reality, my reality and their reality. I take my last drag on the cig and it burns as I feel the tightness in my chest.
That tightness feels like a large hand grasping my lung and squeezing it; the pressure chokes off my air supply, my life. If I could just pry that hand, even one finger at a time, I could gain my strength, catch my breath, breathe deep and inhale all the opportunities I think I might have before me. Those are like this L.A. haze though, I can sort of know they are there but seem ever so unatainable for me, clouded by the stuff down below. I must somehow break free from all that. The cigarettes are my choice, but the other strangulating pressures in my ife I can not seem to break free of until I have my own breath, my own ideas.
If I could be free to voice those questions, I would ask: Why do I feel insignificant in this family? Why does my mother sit and stare out the window for hours and not talk? What does a hug feel like? Why does my dad not come home sometimes at night when he leaves for work? Why does Mrs. Johnston want to tell me about Jesus so much? Do other families talk about God everyday? I only thought God came at Christmas.
When I am up here, looking at the city below and watching the people hurry to their buses and trains and jobs or families, I wonder about the different sort of lives they may have. I think about Mrs Johnston's son, William, who was just killed in the war, if he is really in Heaven. It is that place I learned about when Mrs. Johnston took me to Sunday School class. Does he have a new body now? Does he get to do what he always wanted to do? Does he know I am thinking about him now?
Well, I guess my thinking time is done. I have to go back to that place where my questions will bounce off the walls like soap bubbles. I believe God spies me up here though. I do not know how I know this, but it is just a funny feeling that someone is listening to my heart. I hope it is you, God, because I really want to believe.

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This article has been read 518 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dee Yoder 06/17/07
"I believe God spies me up here...". I love this line and I love your writing. You capture so many shifting emotions and feelings of a teen who's seeking for something just out of reach. I think many teens could relate to your story. It's wonderful.
Dianne Janak06/22/07
Your title grabbed me because I have always had a thinking place. WHen I was a teen and even now years and years later. I remember the things I tried to sort out and could relate so much to your writing. You have a real gift with your descriptive words and I enjoy the way you express yourself. Your heart in this piece made me reflect. Good writing.
Jacquelyn Horne07/04/07
You've captured the heart of many a teen with this article. A lot of questions arise during teen years. I would have liked to have seen a solution here, but I filled in my own thoughts and desires. I hope your ending was the same as mine. This is true to life.