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, soâ€¦ suburban. The black engulfs me. I notice. I am helped up. The spikes and rings and clothes and hair. I notice. â€œThat was some fall. You gotta watch out for Sue. Sheâ€™s the crazy driver.â€ 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. â€œWho are you?â€ 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?
â€œIâ€™m Samantha. Nice to meet you.â€
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.
Floating Through Town