I write because I have the knowledge that every sentence, paragraph, and book ever written is only a refined, rearranged dictionary.

I write because if I rearrange the correct words into the correct order I have an opportunity to make something unique using the same reusable ingredients that have been sprinkled into plays by Shakespeare, molded into essays by Woolf, congregated into poems by Plath, and collected into novels by Twain.

I write because every time my pen presses to paper, or my fingers press to keys, I am allotted the same ingredients to work with as all of the authors and poets before me.

I write because it’s like a painter being able to dip his brush into the same paint that da Vinci used to create the Mona Lisa. Except I’m not dipping my brush into my favorite artist’s paint; instead I’m dipping my pen into a lexicon that has been tapped by my favorite “re-arrangers.”

I write because it is my way of reorganizing words—something that belongs to everyone—into a telling of my experiences—something that belongs to me alone.

I write because a rich, lazy kid has no advantage over a poor, curious kid with a library card.

I write because the entire lexicon is there for the taking, there for the rearranging—the words mine to roll around in.

BIO: Rico Gallegos is a graduate student at UNM’s Anderson School of Management where he is earning a Master’s of Accounting. He was the winner of a college essay-writing contest as a senior in high school and has been published in Albuquerque the Magazine. Rico has been attending Albuquerque’s Dimestories for the past year, and says he is glad to have found an event where he can share his work with other like-minded individuals.