The Echo Table of Contents Distant Memories of a Fallen Kingdom — Page 3 Developing Scraps of Beauty — Page 4 The Priest Hangs High — Page 4 Artwork by Josseline Melgar — Page 5 An Utterly Spontaneous Explanation ... — Page 6 Artwork By KellI Koop — Page 6 Being Me— Page 7 The Rat — Page 8 A Poem About You — Page 9 Thanks To Society — Page 9 Paradise — Pages 10, 11, and 12 Paper Words — Page 12 All out of Band-Aids — Page 13 Artwork by Christian Antonini — Page 13 The Garden — Pages 14 and 15 Like a Tree — Page 15 Polaroids — Page 16 Artwork by Emily Nott — Page 16 Heretofore Unexplored Dimensions of the Disc — Pages 17, 18, and 19 Artwork by Michelle Craig — Page 19 Excerpts from a Book of Histories — Page 20 Rancho Palos Verde — Pages 21 and 22 Artwork by Brandon Nguyen — Page 22 A Damaged Psyche — Page 23 I Want To Tell You A Story — Page 24 Next to Normal — Page 25 Artwork by — Page 26 Patrons — Page 27 Patrons, Staff List — Page 28
2 Letter from the Editor Art and writing, I think, are rather thankless jobs, and don’t come with many benefits. In fact, most writers and artists seem to have been hurt, not helped, by their genius. Take Maupassant, Hemingway, Tolstoy, Swift, Poe, Dostoevski. and Sylvia Plath — they all went crazy or were crazy from the start. Take Rembrandt, Monet, Manet, Gauguin, El Greco, and van Gogh, who were not acknowledged as geniuses until after they had died without a penny to their names. Take Bulgakov, Bradbury, Salinger, Lorca, Babel, Cicero, Solzhenitsyn, Thomas More, and Henry Miller, all of whom were imprisoned, censored, or even executed for their writing. So why do they do it? Why do they burrow deep into the underbelly of words and color, extract the most heartfelt and direct elements of the soul, and produce works of art that touch not only their fellow men but men alive generations thence, only to have their work, their very lifeblood, condemned as an “impractical” field of study in which there are “no jobs”? OIt’s simple: because they have something to say. e feels safe in saying that all these works were written, painstakingly revised, submitted, and published because their authors had something beautiful, entertaining, or important to say. It has been an exhausting but enjoyable process selecting these few dozen choice pieces from the hundreds of submissions The Echo received. Excellent fiction abounds, from the dark yet touching piece “Paradise” to the quiet “Rancho Palos Verde, CA”, which lingers in the mind after being read. High school poetry, so often maligned for being sappy and uninteresting, is here often touching and surprisingly mature. The art of students such as Josseline Melgar and Christian Antonini (who did this issue’s cover art), too, has provided a strong counterpoint to our written pieces. I would like to thank Kathleen Syron and John Vona, The Echo’s sponsors. My gratitude also goes out to Natalie Barman, for keeping me relaxed, and to Macey Sidlasky and Tessa Childress, for un-relaxing me when I needed to get things done, as well as all the other hardworking members of The Echo. In addition, I would like to thank everyone who submitted work, and everyone who even glanced at this magazine. . I’ll say it once more: all of the work put into this magazine comes from the fact that we all have something to say. Wonder ye then at the fiery hunt?
The Echo Being Me Some people think uniqueness is great. Some people think it makes you special, but deep inside it hurts. You do not feel it at first; you think your uniqueness makes you different and better from the rest. However in my opinion, people can tear down this newfound confidence and trust too quickly: it takes forever to build but only a second to tear down. I have seen happiness and grace because of my abnormalities, but I have also seen bullying and hate, all because of me. My name is logan and I was born with unnatural hair that is silvery white. I do not know how or why, but somehow I was. It does not seem to have affected me physically but emotionally is another story. My white hair is the first thing people see, the first thing that they notice. Some think I am just another weird teenager who dyed their hair. “Teenagers,” they scoff with a downcast look of shame pretending they never saw me, and if they do remember me it will only be to tell others all about it. However most have come to ask the question, the one i always dread. They ask quickly and try to say it nicely, but I already know what they’re going to ask, so I just play along. “Did you bleach your hair or color it?” “No,” I explain, “it’s natural.” Some stare back in disbelief, others leave because they don’t understand my predicament. But the worst ones are those with insults: from skunk to Harry Potter, I’ve heard them all. Then there’s the worst one, the one thing I hate most of all. They laugh and walk away looking at the ugly skunk. I have heard it all, nothing matters anymore, my weak insides can’t take much more, Who said, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”, They’re wrong wait and see, just take a day in the life of me,Your bones will break and your heart will fail, all because of others’ words. My dad says shoot back with a smart response
about why my hair’s affray, like, if I told you I’d have to kill you, or, I’m part yeti. Or in my mom’s case, they’re my wisdom streaks. But overall it doesn’t matter. The bullying will never stop; my white hair is a bother. Being made fun of is no fun, so why does it always happen to me? Why am I forced to go through this? What great God has put me through this? How am I supposed to get through this? But suddenly, I think about all the times it’s helped me out. From being talked to all at once, at Wal-Mart, school, and other places. Sometimes I have made new friends all because of a little pigment. From chosen one to wise young elder, all these compliments just for me. However the question that has been egging me on, the only one i have to go on: why have I refused to dye it? There’s no reason why I can’t, or even a reason why I shouldn’t. I could do it. No more insults, no more crying, no more attention about my head. But the main reason why I don’t, the only reason why I can’t, is because it’s me. It represents who I am. I just wouldn’t be who I am today without it. Everyone gets insulted, but the question we must ask is whether or not we will change ourselves because of a few jerks’ opinions, or stay true to who we are and who we were meant to be.
[Nonfiction] Logan Conrad