Thursday, December 02, 2004

There was a story about an apple that I would tell myself whenever I was a sad teenager. (Ok, I was pretty much always a sad teenager, but fourteen-sixteen seemed to have been the worst years of the bunch, and that's when this happens.) The story was about an apple who was tired of living on his tree branch. So one day this bird lands on the apple's branch, and the apple starts asking it questions about being free and able to go wherever it wants.
The bird admits, at this point, that being free is pretty nice, but he doesn't fail to point out that there's a lot of responsibility that goes along with it. He then leaves the apple alone with its thoughts. The apple thinks and thinks. And eventually, it starts to swing itself, trying to build up momentum enough to release itself from the branch.
The point of this story about the story is that it was always possible to change the ending. If I wanted to, I could let the apple soar free into sunsets, never to be seen from again. The bird would always wonder what happened to that talking apple. Or I could make it smash onto the pavement below, juices mingling with the macadam, crushed. The bird would come back and peck at the broken remains.
And even today I'm not sure which ending I like better.

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