David Kent 1

2nd – Self-Made Man by David Kent


All I really know is my own, as I was present for most of it. I’m not talking about my biological beginning, birds and bees and birth and all, rather my beginning of self. You will be told, if you ask, that your ‘self’ or id or whatever you wish to call it is a function of your genetic inheritance and your environment. The old nature and nurture, where x= id, y=genes, a=environment x=y+ ka. Very real, and to varying degrees very measurable concepts. For the majority of my early beginning I struggled with the real and measurable. The real and measurable was cold and cruel and didn’t understand my funny jokes. And so I stopped trying to struggle.

Day dreaming is an innate behaviour, a reflex, the mental equivalent of ducking under an aerially misplaced football, an escape mechanism. Between the ages of four to nine I found it impossible to speak in front of a group of people my own age and as such I was branded permanently a social leper. The public sector school system told me I was unartistic, and as I result of my inability to express myself in front of a class I was considered unintelligent by my teachers.

I had no external method of expressing my id or any trace of creativity and so I turned inwards. I spent hours constructing elaborate scenarios in which I daringly robbed banks, built absurdly complex and inevitably lethal machines.

Having conversations.

My entire personality was created through my own fantasy world. It was how I hid from the reality of people who enjoyed sports and hated dance. I spent five years sat in the corner of the classroom with my closest friend I’d never spoken to, mentally filling out both sides of a now-forgotten conversation. Teachers took this as an ‘obvious’ sign of a lack of intellect, and it wasn’t till I discovered that my self-manufactured personality could be externalised through drama that I was ever taken seriously.

I was criticized for years for being a daydreamer, for being inattentive, but my dreaming shaped me. It made me who I am. It led me to be able to face a world that terrified me.

I created my world. I made my own environment. I am . I am a self-made man.

Yours truly.


Self-Made Man by David Kent won 2nd Place in The Yorker’s Beginnings Competition

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