An arts magazine at the University of Pennsylvania
Your Fantastical Adventure
Art by Kate Burgess
Writing by Sruthi Srinivas
You forgot your name a long time ago. It beckons somewhere in the back of your head, but no matter how much you shake and bob, you can never get it out.
But who needs a Name, when you have friends!
Nature calls all around you, laughing and smiling. The babbling brook, the friendly, elderly birds, all look down upon you lovingly, and their warmth is always with you no matter where you go. How could you not love a place like this; how could anyone not love a place like this!
You walk along the trail you’ve carved so carefully, passing the waterfall with a grin, a spring in your step. The water has a face, a kindly face. He greets you, but never with your name.
“Hi there, You! Come by later, we’re always happy to have You!”
Thanks, Waterfall! Is that your Name, Waterfall?
“Why would that matter, darling?”
Waterfall lets you take a few special rocks from its refreshing depths. You walk through, feeling compelled to laugh when he laughs. Thank you, Waterfall! I love laughing!
“Come by later You!”
You feel rejuvenated, like nothing in this beautiful, beautiful world can stop your stride. March, one two. On to the next stop in this wonderful journey: the forest! It’s easy to get lost in the forest, so be careful, You!
“Why, I would never let You get lost! Take my wood: it’s magic wood, it’ll guide You through!”
“Of course, You! Come by later too!”
The green is soothing, comforting. You can’t help but close your eyes and walk through with no worries or wants. The dark is not menacing, nor unsettling - it’s merely a shadow over your small body, wrapping you around in a blanket and providing you with the shade you need to get that awful Sun out of your eyes.
Your eyes fly open. This is a new emotion - panic? Why are You panicking?
A large fallen branch, blocking your path. Decaying wood, shaped like .. a dagger? No, no, nothing like that!
You pick up the triangle, thank Forest for her magnanimity, then go on your merry way. Isn’t it wonderful to be helped by Friends! How would You ever survive without them?
The final stop on this fantastic adventure. Mr. and Mrs. Canyon are sleeping and snoring. Silly Canyons! Why are they sleeping on this beautiful day?
Canyons! Wake up! I want to talk to you!
Mrs. Canyon opens her large, beautiful eyes, peppered with red dust. They smile and twinkle when they see You. You’re giddy with excitement.
“I haven’t seen You in so long! Oh, Mr. Canyon, see who’s here to visit us!”
Mr. Canyon wakes up, startled. Ruffling his twin peaks, he peers down at You and smiles, but his smiles don’t reach his eyes. No matter, Mr. Canyon! We all have our off days!
“Hi there, You. Are you leaving soon?”
Mrs. Canyon’s smile wavers. She looks at her husband, and playfully smacks him on the shoulder. Some rocks tumble down, and You jump over them with ease. So nice of them to help You exercise!
“What my dear Mr. Canyon meant to say was come by later, You! We’re having a wonderful party and You’re the guest of honor!”
Oh, wow! A party all for me! And it’s still. Sunny. Outside?
But there is no Sun. The Sun is gone. Where did Sun go? You back away towards the bush, alarmed, but the bush is laughing. The bush laughs, laugh, You! Why aren’t you laughing with me, You?
You look towards Mr. and Mrs. Canyon, but they’re laughing too, and edging closer, and closer and closer. Forest has arrived, and so has Waterfall, sprouting terrifying legs of their own. They close in, and in, and in, and you can’t breathe, but you feel strangely obligated to laugh with them, that’s right, choke on Your own laughter! It’s good for You!
And so you walk on, on and on, never stopping, trying not to notice the grass, the water, the canyons - caving in and up and down, suffocating. No, not suffocating. You can’t be suffocated, silly! Suffocation is for people with Names!
Why would you ever need to know yours?