The Words of the Forgotten

An image taken with the Milwaukee Astronomical Society's "G-scope," depicting the Double Cluster, a set of two open star clusters in the constellation Perseus.

        Below is a small collection of essays I have ever written and never completed (some are currently in-progress). Please note that several essays may include grammatical and/or stylistic errors, or opinions that I do not currently adhere to. I merely hope to demonstrate to you all the arduous process that comes with every essay I write, and that almost all of my envisaged essays are ultimately never completed. Enjoy!

#1: An epilogue to "Rigid Standardization," a book I began writing in late 2021 and never completed

        Determining academic merit has forever been an arduous endeavor. Not only is there no cohesive American high school grading system, but there is also an inconsistency in course rigor–an honors class at a New York high school will not be the same as an honors class at a Mississippi high school. Standardized tests simplify this endeavor, providing a consistent, uniform measure of academic merit. With standardized tests, a college admissions officer can simply compare applicants’ scores on the same tests, granting admission and scholarships to the most academically advanced students. On the surface, these tests deserve much importance in the admissions process, for they ensure that colleges admit the highest scorers and the hardest workers.

        America gratuitously consecrates and defends these tests as “coming-of-age” experiences, as unparalleled indicators of a student’s ability and work ethic. However, ACT and SATs do NOT indicate a student’s ability, for (1) the tests evaluate elementary concepts largely impertinent to juniors in high school and (2) the tests are timed to such inhumanely short intervals that thought must be absent. ACT and SATs do NOT elaborate a student’s work ethic, for there are many legitimate indicators of work ethic, such as (1) whether the student had a job, (2) how many classes the student took, (3) what sports the student was involved in, (4) what hobbies the student engaged in, (5) how much volunteer work the student had, and (6) how the student prepared for tests. ACT and SATs should NOT be coming-of-age experiences, for the stigma surrounding the tests panics students, interferes with students’ academics, and ruins students’ ambitions. Academically, there is no place for the contemporary standardized test.

Yet the SAT and ACT test important topics with questions that regard “background knowledge” requirements for success in more advanced courses and career ambitions. As measures of a student’s ability to succeed in higher classes, standardized tests are necessary. Beyond its role as a measurement, the standardized test indicates to students, especially hard-working ones, which elementary concepts they do not understand. Through that indication, students receive the opportunity to improve on their shortcomings, thereby increasing their readiness for college.

#2: "A Sequel to 'Love,'" written in February 2021 and never completed

I firmly and unyieldingly believe that every one deserves, even needs, to drown in the ocean of despair that owes itself to heartbreak, for the complete understanding of love cannot develop without the notion of its unrequited facets. It is through this need that unrequited love, heartbreak, and closure become “coming-of-age” experiences, which transfigure the young sapling into an older, wiser, yet still novel tree. 

It is with unrequite that one gauges the magnitude of love; it is a disposition so powerful that its absence derails the steady train of life, penetrates and destroys the edifices of stoicism, and runs rapidly the rivers of sob, surprise, and despondence. It is with unrequite that one understands love, more so than even the master of requited love, and, particularly, true love. Chiefly, it is with unrequite that one learns, correctly, how to love and how to treat a lover, even an unrequited one.

#3: "Time," which will not be elaborated on, for the essay is currently in-progress

A day in September, the first day in September, I saw you, sitting in the back of the math classroom, alone, surrounded only by the days to come. Even on that day, a mere quiver in the wind of our history, I thought you the most beautiful in the classroom, more beautiful even than the integrals and the derivatives and the limits (which are, as you know, beautiful to me). 

A day in October, drowning in homework and the long evening ahead, I called to you in the hallway after school–“Time!” “Time!”– and you looked back, meeting my gaze with the most incredible, charismatic smile. A light inside the dark tunnel, so close and so bright that it outshined the very end of the tunnel itself, sent me shuddering, sent me running towards you, seeking your voice, seeking your eyes and love, even as, only thirty minutes before, a girl for whom I had once lost my mind sought to drown me in the wells of insecurity once again. We spoke together and walked together to the next event, almost never having interacted before, knowing not the events of our next year.

#4: “A Great Socialism,” which also is in-progress

The fall of the Soviet Union in the late twentieth century was the culmination of the most miserable failure in human history: a revolution of thought, founded on the principles of charity and collectivity, ultimately suffered under the very human enterprise of competition and domination. A Marxist nation, great in its ideals, suffered under the iron fist of reality. 

The Soviet Union failed as a result of a misguided nationwide understanding of communism: in the Bolshevik Revolution, revolutionaries coalesced around leaders such as Lenin and, later, Stalin, instead of the idea behind the revolution itself. What ruined the communist state is the concept of a father figure, which was meticulously abused by the communist leaders. But with genuine leadership, socialist ideas similar to that of the Bolsheviks could prosper, as similar movements’ ideals did: in the American revolution, for rexample George Washington, Patrick Henry and Thomas Paine used their voices to ignite the people behind a common enemy–the British.

A broader maxim often results from the later exploitation by some of these leaders, particularly Stalin: humans are competitive, inherently selfish and will exploit others for personal gain (which is, ironically, an idea central to Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, the patroning book of capitalism). Such is the reason why communism, insofar as it was understood during the Bolshevik Revolution and beyond, is an ineffective and even idiotic system of government; it lacks any common sense, regrets human nature and forgets the ends of a legitimately governing body.

That, however, does not make a more limited form of the such–a democratic socialism, so to speak–an inherently bad idea; it is rather evident that, instead of communism itself being impractical, the practice of communism has historically failed. If it works in theory but not in practice, the theory must be changed so that it works in practice.

That is why a limited form of socialism, as with the policies I will describe, would be compatible with the present society, even the present American society, so long as it is implemented correctly and by the people themselves. There will be several problems to address with this limited socialism, including oversight, economic freedom, the livelihoods of those whose industries would be impacted, supply chain woes, and nonprofit cynicism. All such problems will be met with solutions, each of which are altered from the theory of communism to work with the practice of a great society.

#5: “Lessons on Unrequite,” written on an unspecified day in 2022.

“But does love not occur through the brain?” we say. “How can an organ without thought think?” we say. Yes, love, the pinnacle of human emotion, is an emotion which exists within the limbic system of the brain. But, then, how could love not exist in the brain? Logically, it must, right? We regret, however, that love is not logical.

In fact, love is perhaps the most subjective enigma there is; there are few sentiments which conglomerate every most powerful emotion into a single disposition: hate, fear, contempt, worry, obsession, all are products of this love. It may certainly exist in the brain, but our emotions convince us that love can exist only where the blood is pumped, where the rushes and the rapidities are conceived.

Sure, love as an emotion may not be the most powerful, but love is more than just an emotion: it is a condition, a disease, a disorder, the apotheosis of excitement and despair. Better yet, love can be described as a beautiful anthology of our most perfervid emotions, rather than necessarily an emotion itself. And it is this condition which effects a cacophonous rage of noise, a tune synonymous with the loudest, most grandiose instruments played by their most passionate players. 

As we listen to the trumpets of love, we question which is the loudest, clearest, and truest. Among many implements, there is the trumpet of the brilliant, veracious, requited love; this trumpet is loud, harmonious, and uniform, yet it is equally banal and conventional. 

There is the trumpet of the requited love in the unrequited relationship; this trumpet is comparably loud, yet inconsistent and inharmonious, for the love, though comparable to that of the true love (because one party fancies the other to a great extent), exists without a permissible balancing tune; as such, the trumpet discharges with a screech, an odious noise distasteful even to the trumpeters themselves. 

There are the many present betweens, the requited love without veracity and the requited love, and requited yet difficult relationship; these trumpets are variable–the straining relationship releases a somber, languishing tune, and the untrue (but not false) requited love a quieter yet sempiternal strain.

There is, finally, the trumpet of unrequited true love. This trumpet is the loudest–even louder than the trumpets of true love–yet it is unconventionally bold, immaturely uninflected, and desperately melancholic. In a room with the trumpets of love, it is the most deafening, a vociferous spectacle among the already vociferous. However, its resonance is desperate and its grandeur unreturned. Among duos of trumpets, some screeching and some whispering, some equal in vociferation and magnificent in tone, the unrequited trumpet stands alone; it is a single dandelion in a herd of roses, its soft yellow blossoms stabbed by the jagged needles of love. 

Let us then focus on that yellow dandelion: as the unrequited trumpet was the loudest, so was the unrequited dandelion the brightest. But, like the trumpet, this dandelion was granted no return for its light; instead, it was forced to live amongst an intermingling patch of roses, vulnerable to extermination and unable to grasp the sun. 

The dandelion presently suffers from this deadly lack of that light, for the overarching roses shadow the small flower from the sun’s embrace. Now sure, the dandelion will weaken, but its light remains constant; contrary to all logic, this dandelion maintains its lustrous gold, despite its impending doom.

And yet, when all those roses become brittle and lifeless in the winter, that dandelion continues to thirst for light. As the roses die off, the shadows are lifted and the sun falls under the horizon, and, despite the dandelion’s tireless strains, the sun is already gone, below the horizon until the roses shroud again the dandelion. Indefatigable, this dandelion of love is, as it loves the absent sun without respite, without requite; it is that sole flower remaining on that warm Christmas morning, when any conscious observer is inclined to question, “what is that doing here?”

But eventually, our hero of love shall die, its once gleaming blossom now despondently brown. 

If we regard our hero as symbolizing unrequited love, the death we discuss with such woeful diction requires not our word choice. With the dandelion, the blossom’s precipitous decline from a golden, pulchritudinous star to a rotten brown, decomposing specimen represents not the living decline of a larger specimen, but of a love.

When that blossom dies, so does the love; but we find that the dead dandelion represents not death, but birth. It is closure, the revival of life inspired by the death of a fancy. And, though the trumpet of unrequited love sings the loudest tunes and the dandelion of unrequited love emits the brightest lights, its death prospers joy, not pain. 

I once, very recently, felt that dandelion; I was once, very recently, that loud trumpet of unrequited love. 

#6: The incomplete epilogue to an essay that was scrapped as a result of changing opinions (I have discovered new reasons for why America is so divided)

To understand periodic division, we must first understand its origins. Considering similar phenomena occur in other countries, we can reasonably conclude that there exists an inherent element to such division. However, the fact that, in the United States, the division is often far more conspicuous and perverse than in other countries warrants another explanation; though we must expound a single theory to the idiosyncrasy of our division, we also must understand that our theory will not be all-encompassing. Indeed, division in the United States is multifaceted; we cannot place all of the blame on one, or even two specific phenomena. Accordingly, the two most explicit contributors to the division are human nature and the United States Constitution, and the exclusive contributor to periodic division is societal practice according to such human and constitutional elements. 

Human nature is, unsurprisingly, a root cause of division and, of course, periodic division. 

We must now understand the Constitutional origins of periodic division. The American system of government derives from a combination of the Madisonian system, a system of government that separates federal power into the legislative, executive, and judicial branches; the federal bicameral, or Congress, which is a legislature composed of two separate houses (the House of Representatives and the Senate); and the federalist system, a system of government that separates power between the federal, state, and local governments. These three qualities all contribute to the general, simplified structure of the American government. We must now analyze how this Constitution, a Constitution regarded as the most profound political document ever written, is a root cause of our discord.

#7: The prologue to “A Long Conversation,” which has never been completed

The light; it shines. The dark; it dims. So clear is the sky; so murky are the clouds; so hard are the trees; so soft are the grasses; so small are the birds; so tall are the mountains. 

It is a world of antithetical, a world of contradiction. Nowhere are there parallels, nowhere are there congruences: the blue sky contrasts itself with the green foliage; the cheetah with the mouse; the human with the ant; the sun with the clouds. Our God, setting upon this Earth to build an intricate maze of disorder, could not have been more successful with any creation other than this bewildering heap of rock, cellulose, and flesh, the constituents of which appear no more similar to another than a galaxy to a star. 

#8: “The Lone Man and the Sea,” an incomplete essay that is not a parody of Hemingway’s work

Somewhere in the ocean, perhaps a thousand miles from shore, a single man stood, stranded, on a lone fishing boat. The boat, a minute speck of dust in a great sea of blue, appeared as a small inconsistency in an ever-consistent path, as if a lone tree in a vast desert. 

The boat itself was puny, powered by a weak motor that had long ago broken. It was perhaps twenty-feet long and ten-feet wide, with a small “room” containing one bed and the driver’s seat. Near the back of the boat, small compartments stored limited rations of an ever-dwindling food supply, growing scarcer with the gradual starvation of the boat’s sole occupant. As a whole, the boat was old, cadaverous, and blemished: the front panel of that single room, a cheap, transparent plastic wrap no stronger than a grocery bag, had ripped and torn throughout, mangled much like the lacerated skin of a man after sprinting full speed through thornbush. There were grayish dings around the boat, and even the leather covering of the steering wheel had partially torn off. 

Expecting a three-day fishing trip, the man stocked enough food only to survive for those days, yet he, after two weeks stranded, had almost no food left; his body, once nourished, now starved amongst the surrounding wasteland of water. The only food remaining were a few cans of peaches, peas, and pork, along with what remained of the fish caught on the first days–before motor stall and thunderstorms brought him well out to sea.

That night, the ocean was pitch black, except for a small, solar-powered red light next to the dead motor. The slight waves crashed against the boat’s hull, nudging the boat side to side in small, inveterate movements. That small red light, a beacon of illuminated blood against a massive, bloodless landscape, stood as the single eye of God against the great, pervading black hole enveloping it. The boat was a starship, a small point of light and life suspending, barreling, through that ever-increasing, everlasting night. One could see only ten feet of waves behind them before the red light could reach no more, and the rest of the world–the waves, the fish, the sea–were drawn into oblivion, their existence affirmed only by their characteristic noises.

The sky was pulchritudinous, an expanse of stars hindered not by the moon or the clouds. There were thousands of stars in the sky, bright and coruscant, the only providers of light in the entire universe other than that small, insignificant speck of red light on the boat. A cloud of glittery white haze sparkled from the southern horizon to the northern horizon, protruding horizontally in inconsistent, small bands of gas, stars, and planets. The bright stars superimposed against that haze–Acrux, Rigil Kentaurus, Hader, and Antares in the South; Deneb, Vega, and Altair in the North–were magnificently bright. 

Near the front of the boat, the man stood–or, rather, knelt, exerting almost all his energy to hold onto the railing–facing south, holding a small fishing pole, waiting for a fish to latch on. His weak gaze was affixed to the starry horizon, glaring at that small cross of stars barely visible above the crest of the sea. 

The man stood pitifully, despairingly, steadfast upon that boat, desperately flinging the line across the sea, begging the sea to return to him a single fish. There were many–innumerable, perhaps–fish in the sea, yet none had latched to him; none had satisfied his hunger; and all had denied to him the sustenance necessary to grant him another day–another day without traumatic, famishing pain, writhing in the pungent air of bitter despair. 

Barely strong enough to speak, the man appeared to invoke God Himself; so quiet did he speak–his voice the quiet whine of a horrified, crying puppy–that his prayer was more a man’s last words than a man’s most desperate request. As a bright star settled upon the horizon, he begged…

#9: “Two Months,” written in June 2022, and eternally incomplete

Can I not write of love without the assumptions, the distant and false assumptions, that my writing, however general and innocuous it is, is directed at a singular person? Can my readers come to believe that I write of love from its presence in my heart, not necessarily at a particular person, but at the thought?

Out of my empathy for those I love, I choose not to write my public essays in a way that describes them, or alienates them. I have written no further than an allegory on a facet of love; I have never presented an essay dedicated entirely to love, and I have never published any of the private essays I have written on it (I must say, however, that I have addressed people I have loved in essays, but these were essays that I kept private).

Nevertheless, I find myself at a crossroads, for the strings of my heart strain ever further, and I see a profound opportunity for a great essay on a terse topic. Do I write an impactful essay directly about love, as I have before privately, or do I miss my chance to embrace my emotion, spill it out in torrents of passion, and share with you the most impossibly perfervid emotions which continue to plague my heart and soul? 

Yes, I should. And I will. I am sure, yes, that I will make allusions to the present sentiment, but I am going to walk a very thin line here – and take precautions to avoid significant publicity. I seek my literary freedom, but I also seek not to ruin my existing relationships.

#10: “An Allegory of the Sun,” presently a work-in-progress


The sun had just risen. Below it stood an expanse of green, blue, orange, yellow, and purple. The trees quivered in the light morning breeze, sending momentary shards of light to the shaded mass of dark green below. Tiny drops of dew stood upon the various shreds of this mass, shining–if for a moment–as if small stars had stuck to it.

Above the trees, the sky was a vivid, tangerine orange, as if the outer skin of a grapefruit had encased the sky, covering the world in a lustrous, coruscating glow. The one blemish on that skin was pulchritudinous, radiant, its light striking the land below, juxtaposing the aureate, sinusoidal forests against the navy blue, crystalline rivers. Surrounding the blemish was a harsh orange hemisphere, rising from the horizon and arching, parabolically, across almost half of the sky. The accompanying horizon acquired a dark purple, almost brown hue, its color resembling the small, splashing droplets of water that catch an instant glimmer of light as they split from a crashing wave. 

*Note: I originally planned to write a paragraph preceding the following one.*

Along the rivers, near the trees, there was a man–and, in a split second, there was not a man. The man sprinted along the serpentine stream, outrunning the squirrels, the coyotes, and for a while, the sun itself.

The striking force of the man’s step was unparalleled, for as he rushed, he unleashed chaos in the surrounding air. Encountering his gallop, the nearby brush shuddered violently, as if shaken by straight-line winds in a severe thunderstorm. Above the brush, the trees seemed to gravitate toward him, quivering so vigorously in the unsettled air, flexing their inflexible edifices toward him as he receded. 

The man’s movements were strenuous yet mechanical, dramatic yet composed. He ran like a robot–each step the same, each breath consistent, each process following a uniform line of code. He was tireless, indefatigable, exceptionally fast.

Momentarily, the man broke his robotic consistency and began to speak: 

“I am sprinting; I am running; I am flowing, rapidly, like a cascade on the mountainside. The sun shines like a fire in my eyes. Oh, how bright, how blinding it is! I am staring directly at the sun; I am now without sight! There are dots covering my vision, blurring the bright blue and the coarse green. The dots leave my eyes, and the edifices dividing transparency from non-transparency fall away.

“And yet I am steady; even the sun itself, whose light blinded me so recently, hinders not my meticulous, regular pace. I continue: one foot; another foot; one arm; another arm; I am so mechanical, so strong, so tireless. I am persistent, like the starved lion chasing its prey. 

“But for what reason? Why am I running? Why do I gallop, as if a horse? Why am I a wave: so unvarying, so constant? Am I fleeing something? Am I chasing something? Why am I following this large, lustrous blemish, whose light is so impossibly bright that I cannot fathom an analogy for it? Why do I continue to run?

“I question myself so vigorously, so critically, yet I have the answer: I remain running because I am chasing the sun. I am not merely following it, or approaching it for warmth; I need the sun, I ache for the sun, I follow the sun, perpetually; it is the single most important contributor to my life. It is so low upon the horizon; if I can make it to the horizon, it can receive me! If I could only touch it! Now I run, I sprint, I gallop, I race, I spring, I lunge; I do not stop.”


The sun, pursuing the zenith, drove higher into the sky. The once dull, dark purple left a tangerine orange, and the once tangerine orange a pale blue. The sinuous curve of brilliant orange light, once circumambient about the sun, broke above it; the still magnificent color now connected the sun with the horizon, but no longer surrounded it. The sky was now a bright, uneven blue, resembling a midday horizon.

The harsh light omnipresent in that “golden hour” now struck with an even intensity, and the striking colors grew less evident; the navy blue transformed into an emerald green, as if the water had suddenly metamorphosed into a rush of streaming peridot; the gold transformed into a mass of inconsistent color, depriving the forest of its uniform gold–no longer was the forest a plate of gold, but rather a lush of viridescence.

The water maintained its inveterate movement downstream, flowing much like the sun. The trees continued to tremble in the slight morning breeze, flowing much like the wind gusts. 

Between the irregular noises of the chirping birds and the quivering trees, all was silent, except for the whispering of the water down the nearby streams. Without that small, monotonous noise, the land would seem a vacuum–soundless, deafeningly quiet, worryingly settled.

Along the rivers, near the trees, the man preserved his unabating pace, yet the sun’s increased altitude tormented him. He spoke:

“The sun is no longer on the horizon! My method for approaching it, once so obvious, once so simple, has failed me miserably. I am yet running, yet pursuing, as if I am Pip himself, who, too, indefatigably pursued a star.

“I can no longer succeed; I cannot merely follow it to the horizon, as if it were as constant as the oceans, as defined as the mountains, as particular as the trees. Unlike the fixed, natural complexes, the sun rises above me; it flows constantly above me, more than the rivers, the waves, the cascades; it is even, steadfast, maintaining a uniform pace in the ever bluer sky; it is much stabler than my robotic maneuvers - my march, my pace, my speed, my stride, persistently, restlessly, tenaciously, assiduously, all less implacable than that of the sun’s course.

“Now that the sun has transcended the horizon, I must increase my elevation. Without ascent, my pursuit is pointless.”

In the distance stood a range of mountain peaks, so far away that their points were mere silhouettes against the yellow sky. They were jagged, as if carved by the knives of an unhinged artist. One could not tell whether they were clouds, for their peaks scraped, even crashed through the heavens.

Even well into the morning, the peaks reached almost the sun itself. They were so tall, so formidable, so unascertainable–distant supergiants of rock greater than even the sun. In that distance stood the man’s chance to catch the sun.

The man launched himself toward the mountains; and in that movement, there was no difference between himself and a rocket, except that he was traveling faster. 

He rocketed to the base of the tallest mountain, arriving out of breath and visibly exasperated. Yet, he continued to run; the gradient increased, but he maintained his speed. Tired, yet persistent, he spoke:

“I have reached the base of the mountain; the sun is invisible to me, its light unable to protrude the solid rock I approach. O’ Sun, how I shall elevate, ascend, transcend this magnificent prominence to see you again! O’, Sun! The progenitor of all life, the champion of humanity, the sustenance to every inch of flesh upon this mass of stone! I await you, O’ beautiful ball of light!

“Your light nears me! Shards of your glasslike light cut only meters above my eyes! I rush above the valley below; I cross the jagged highways of ascent; I increase my height to above that of the world itself; I am so close, so far, so fast, so slow, so nearing its contact, yet so unable to make contact.”

The man, after a short time, managed to completely scale the peak, the largest of those in the range. The sun now met his gaze:

“Like the river, I have flown; unlike the river, I have flown upward. I am so high! I must, for a moment, face the expanse from which I have run. I see that sinuous stream below, once the path to my desires, appearing so small, its outline a mere pixel in the great panorama of an undisturbed landscape.

“I am above the sun; I must now wait until it reaches the zenith. Now I wait; I breathe; I slow; I live in this moment; I embrace this light, this warmth that I feel embraces me; I remain persistent; and I now lay upon the ground; I rest.”


Note: I originally planned several “parts” between the preceding text and the ending; these such portions are those which have yet to be written. Although incomplete, the beginning and ending are largely intact…

“The sun will rise again tomorrow, and I shall enamor myself with her again. I will lose my mind in my love for her; I will be aggressive, persistent, elaborate, out-of-my-mind; and I shall fail; I shall traverse the steppes, the slopes, the valleys, eager in my crippling emotion for a love I will never receive, and I shall never reach that ball of fire above me. The sun will set; I will lay upon the wood, tired, daunted, heartbroken; and the sky will darken, opening up a universe of stars to my childish gaze; I will forget again that dastardly sun, whose light pierced the flesh and the valleys and ventricles of my heart, and I will stare–in a most euphoric gaze–at the stars above me. It will be again so dark, so tenebrous, so frightening; yet it will, too, be so vivid, so opulent, so magnificent. 

“I will have moved on–momentarily–from a love that crushed me and forced me into a marathon of intense sprinting, passionate soliloquies, and impossible journeys. For a moment, I will catch my breath, determined that ‘now is the last time; I shall never love in this way again.’ But the sun will still rise, and I will still run.”

The man, exhausted, falls asleep under the stars.