Circular Search
August 14, 2020

I started out in life as a triangle. But I must have been dropped or flattened because underneath my obvious frame lurked a misshapen square. In the early years, I was trained in triangulation. This was a desperate attempt by my disheartened creators to fix me. They didn’t even know how to straighten an unbroken line. How were they going to mend me?

I couldn’t get around my ultimate deformity: I was a disfigured square within a triangular body, totally out of synch with any of the others, even the outliers: the trapezoids, the rhombuses, and of course, the cylindrical types. I wasn’t angular enough to be a triangle, and I had too many points to be a square. I worked incessantly to smooth out my corners, trying to adopt a curvy facade. My compassionate mentors urged me to quit aiming so high. Sympathetic to my quest for a comfortable belongingness, they encouraged me to consider alternative pursuits. There’s nothing wrong with being an oval, they said.

For a while, I squeezed into a rectangular formation and tried to absorb the convictions to which rectangles adhere. But in the end, as much as I longed to squash myself into an acceptable mold, I refused to embrace any of their decorative distortions.

Yet, I could see that square things function nicely when paired with their own kind: They wedge together, and given their mutual sharp edges and spikes, they cuddle well. Like glue, they leave no spaces to accommodate reconsideration. But if you’re rounding out the fringes, your borders would never synchronize with squares. You’ll leave contorted distances between each other with no way to fill the gap, like an incomplete puzzle — unless of course, you fib a lot, something I could never force myself to do. I tried to endorse their shapely ways. If only I had learned to pervert the counterpoints of my beliefs. If only I could curtail my devotion to authenticity. Instead, I continued to get into trouble with the other forms who mistook my teary assertions of truth as anger, my joy as judgment, and my triumphs as threats.

I gave up finally on the circular search. The ring-shaped sphere of life has now retreated from my free-spoken spirit. I’m on my way out of this roundabout life. I’ve revisited familiar places for the last time.

Nobody’s watching anymore.

Then again, was anyone ever watching in the first place?


Photo by Esther Jiao on Unsplash

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