June 2003
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Dot by Dot
By Jade S., Grade 12, Delta Secondary, Delta, BC

Dot by dot, I've followed through life. I started when I was just a child. I flipped through my giant coloring book, with the elaborate colorful laminated front cover, and picked out a page to play with. Just my luck it was a dot to dot. So I picked up my pencil and started at the first dot, one. I followed, from one to infinite. My tired pencil chased the dots, to connect, dot by dot, the pieces of life. Straight boring lines connect each plain boring inky dot to the next. And I keep on following the numbed dots, one through to X, though I don't know why. Up and down, side-to-side, straight lines impulsively tie each solemn dark dot to another solemn dark dot and so on and so forth. And so I connect the little black dots of my life, all to form some crazy undistinguishable picture. All of this to keep on going, to reach some insane intangible number. All form some generic, infertile picture that I merely traced. And still I follow, dot by dot.

My years have aimlessly, hypnotically and uncontrollably connected by dots. I find myself questioning why I still connect the dots. Why does my pencil still draw the structured lines to every numbered dot? If I am aware of how my life is going by, then why can't I simply change its course? I connect from one through to infinity, all in order of least to greatest, as if building up to something. I feel the urge to connect in random order, to increase or decrease when I want, to have control. I want to connect the dots in the order that I feel right, to form my own picture. But in a society where the heartbeat of structure is as vital as its breath of assimilation, I feel forced to blend in with the masses that pursue the American game of connect the dots.

For what? I've asked myself this question many times. Why? I feel that at my age, 16, I should be able to, and allowed, to connect the dots as I please. I long for the day when I will be free to make the choices in my life for myself, and by myself. At times I feel that I will never have complete control over my life and that a part of me will always instinctively connect the dots in order. This scares me. Will society always have me playing dot to dot? Who knows, I may want to, I may choose to. But for now I do not have the choice. I, like many other teens, am forced to follow society's dots. I wonder when in my life I will be able to connect them as I want. For now, I follow the dots.


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