Floating Through Town

Floating Through Town
By Sarah Hoque
Wake up. Get dressed. Move. Eat. Run. Walk. School. Work. Talk. Sleep. Wake up. In and out. Far and close. Out. In. Move. A hypnotic trance. The monotonous repetition of life. The tedious recurrences that constitute an hour. A minute. A day. A life.
The town is sheltered; it is small. The houses are brightly lit, a suburban dream. Children are playing outside; parents are inside, drinking lemonade. They talk. About the latest in politics, the conundrums of work, the bestiality of sports. They brag. About their children, their high paying jobs, their state of art electronics. They gossip. About the girl next door, the unwed teenager, the outfit the teacher wore to the supermarket.
They laugh–a sound that penetrates the air; a loud, catastrophic noise that shatters the seeming placid peaceful landscape. To the unknowing eye, this must be paradise.
The school bus is loaded. The seats are sanctioned: The front for those that do not wish to converse—the loners with no friends and the nerds with books. The children who have lost the need to have accomplices; the degradation of society, creating a loss to want to know others. The ones with the mindset of knowledge and the soul of isolation. They understand. And they oblige. The middle to gossip and fashion, to those who will be receiving a car for their sixteenth birthday. Those whose parents sit inside and converse, and brag, and gossip. The ones who will grow to be exactly the same. The back for the rebel children, scantly clad in all black, piercings plentiful. The multicolored hair appears as the only source of differentiating between them. They are one and the same. Cast out as hopeless they can only do one thing—cling to one another.
I am not a character. I am the main character. I am in the story as a dream, as a being, as a memory. I am floating through the town. I am wondering. I am looking for a seat on the bus. Today is my first day. Today is the new life. Today I have moved to the town I must call home. I am starring down the isles, unknowing to the sanctions. I am not aware. I am not there. I am back, back in my old town with friends and a place to sit. I am suddenly jerked. I am flying down the aisle of the bus. My arms are no longer helping me. I am moving faster than sound. I am no longer human.
I am sitting.
I am surrounded. Could this be the same place? The town, so alive, so happy, so bright, so… suburban. The black engulfs me. I notice. I am helped up. The spikes and rings and clothes and hair. I notice. “That was some fall. You gotta watch out for Sue. She’s the crazy driver.” I stare blankly. I have fallen; I have hit the ground; I have been at the lowest level, and I have been brought up by the ones in the back. The ones in the dark. “Who are you?” I cannot even think to reply. Is the question as deep as I am considering? Where am I? Why was the bus driver so mean? What happened to the brightness, to the charm, to the serenity? Where have these human secrets been kept? Who am I?
“I’m Samantha. Nice to meet you.”
I smile. I must smile.
This town is a lie. The suburban dream has been deflated. I know it by name now. It is drugs. It is underage drinking. It is sex. It is violence. It is everything but love and peace and family. It is tyrannical. It is hypocrisy.
It is my new home.

0 thoughts on “Floating Through Town

  1. This seems like a great work of writing for someone who has recently left highschool. Or possibly trapped in this void of dream. It’s a somber and rainy thing.
    “What happened to the brightness, to the charm, to the serenity?” is a question you pose and I think the answer could be, “It has been lost in your perception.” I could be wrong though. I frequently am.

  2. It’s all so much like pulling off a mask – and in this story, the ones who appear (by community conception) to be wearing the mask (of goth garb and piercings) also appear most genuine in talk and manner. Life is complicated, there’s always so much more beneath the surface, and so much that remains deceptive. This story is well structured and effective – particularly how it lays a foundation, and mood, then leads to the main character and a revealing event. Nice work.

  3. Nice to see some social commentary. Like the use of imperative at beginning (You) “Wake up.” and the 5 part set-up. Also appreciated a poem (just my own preference..) with more than 3-4 words per line. I know the OLE (copy/paste) twists presentation up a bit–but “the look” of a poem always comes after “the material” in a poem to me. On Microsoft-Word, it’s nice to experiment with presentation–centering, right-aligning, or combinations…–I wish we could get that on the site cause it’s a good part of contemporary/experimental poetry. Anyway, I ramble. Enjoyed the poem Sarah, thanks. These lines grabbed me–“The children who have lost the need to have accomplices” and “I am not a character. I am the main character.”

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