An emotion, a feeling, a thought
Its controlling and freedom
Ecstasy and pain
In a single minute it can crush everything
And at the same time save a life
I never would have guessed it could be so strong
Never would have thought I would find it so soon
It’s sought, fought for, fought over
It runs from us
Hides from us
Avoids us
Springs on us
Surprises us
At the most unexpected moments
It’s the most painful, enjoyable feeling
Its four simple letters
That can destroy, create, transform
And my life’s never been the same.


So, you're finished a test in school and have class time remaining with no homework to do or something to occupy your time, or you're waiting for the boss to read your report (after he's done contemplating how he's going to fire you,) and you're bored to death. So what do you do? Grab your scientific calculator and play the Syntax Game - the game with more errors than Wikipedia, biology textbooks and Al Gore combined!


I finished a test in French class, and I was bored. I wasn't tired enough to take a nap, and I didn't have any homework that didn't involve a computer, so I just slumped and daydreamed. After what seemed liked forever, I looked at the clock and noticed that only two minutes have passed and there was still twenty-three minutes left in the period. And then, it hit me - the Syntax game!

How to Play the game:

You need...

  1. A scientific calculator
  2. Free time
  3. Pure boredom

Game Rules

  1. Turn on the calculator. Replace the batteries if necessary.
  2. Punch in random numbers without looking. NOTE: If you hit a button that leads to a sub-screen, close out of it and resume.
  3. Hit enter/equal
  4. If you get a Syntax, domain, dividing by 0 or argument error, you lose. If you get a real number, you win.
  5. If you lose, you fail. If you win, good for you.


You really think that you're going to get a prize for punching buttons into a calculator?

I am a two dimensional, black and white drawing,
walking through a nuanced landscape of colour and depth.
Time slides through me, indifferently.
I try to find colours in myself, and
to step gently through this wild garden.
Perhaps I can pass without footprints.

I'm at the theater and it's almost showtime. The band is warming up, sounds like Glenn Miller. Actors and stagehands are running around getting ready. I'm there for a reason, which seems reasonable. One of my customers is a theater chain, and I have worked on a theater's fire alarm during a show. Still, I don't have my tools, and I'm dressed in civvies. I find a man who looks remotely like Allan Jones from the Marx Brothers' classic film A Night at the Opera. I ask him what he wants me to do.

"Do? Why, you're the director!" With a wink he hands me a playbill. There is is right there in black and white, I am listed as the play's director.

Oh boy. My cell rings, it's my stepmother. "We're right outside," she says. "Now what is your part in this?"

Unwilling to tell her an outright lie, I tell her she'll see soon enough. The stagehands are all grinning at me, they know better. It's like the play's entire cast and crew has conspired to play this elaborate joke on me, naming me director of a musical I can't even name. Still, the show must go on. I clap my hands, getting them and myself moving. If people are going to think I directed this, I'd better do whatever I can to make sure it comes off.

I hear the opening chords of the overture and as the curtain starts to rise I find myself praying this show will be good.

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