I Was Here
“Tamara was here” was written in smudged green ink on my desk in the Gen. Chem. lecture hall. Although faded, the curly script stood out against the grainy grey of the plastic coating-simultaneously inconspicuous and conspicuous. I thought it interesting that in a lecture hall of over 200 students, I knew maybe twenty faces, half of those people’s names, and a handful of those physically present in the room. And even the location of that handful was unknown to me, but I knew Tamara. Knew that she had been here, sat here in my current seat. She had figuratively and literally left her mark, her green mark. But what was her purpose for her vandalism?
It occurred to me that we all seek to vandalize, to deface, to change the environment around us. The desire to leave our mark surfaces in different ways. For some, it takes shape in a dream to become a famous dancer, the first to live on Mars, the cancer curer, a NBA star, a top ten senior at Vandy. Growing up, most of us desired fame, power, and influence-we wanted a say in the world around us. We wanted to shape, frame, and mold it.
To me that is a major part of humanity. A lion doesn’t care that he’s the King just as long as he’s well fed. His focus is based off animalistic instinct. On the other hand, mankind craves purpose beyond forge, reproduce, survive. So, if a major part of humanity is the desire to influence the world around us, then a clone, like Kathy, a character from Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, despite being an artificial replication, would be just like us. She had dreams to be a mother, to leave Hailsham, to love someone. She desired that beyond the basics. Like Tamara, she simply wants the world to know she was here.