By Simply Shelby

I have done it again. Almost every year I seem to manage it. It is magnificent in all its splendor. Everywhere I look, there it blinds me; on the streets, in schools, in the hands of a stranger. Everyone seems addicted to it- as though it was a form of cocaine- only not as deadly. Or perhaps even more so.

I slink into the cramped market place and watch as people scramble to get their hands on my precious creation. The vendors can't sell it fast enough. Everybody wants what I have made, what I have strived to make perfect. They, all of them, want it: my child with my hands, yet feet of its own. I reach deep into my pocket and fish out a shiny coin. Passing it off to a young girl with tousled hair- a color I can't see beneath the grime and mud that blankets it- I give her instructions to buy it. Buy my beautiful beaded tapestry of swirling colors and events. Go and buy the perfect pipes that I have welded. Buy the canvas of the picture I have painted. Everyone wasn't my masterpiece of gold and molded bronze, of illiterate pressed paper.

No. No. They don't just want it- they need it. They need it like the body needs food and water; like fish need the sky and the birds need the ocean. They don't just crave or desire it. It is necessary for them to have it to live. Otherwise, my eyes wouldn't gaze in rapt fascination at children scampering beneath stampeding feet legs or watch in amusement as brawls between men- and even women- break out over it. Otherwise, I wouldn't hear the desperate pleas of, "Over here! That one's mine!" Otherwise, I wouldn't taste the sweet tang of satisfaction glazed over my tongue.

I turn away from the swarming bazaar and begin home. I walk home, a cocky bounce lingering in my step and a smirk perched on my lips. I have done it again. Almost every year I manage it.