I did this creative writing piece for one of my English exams... I got an A so I thought that I might as well just put it on here :). It's inspired by Simon Armintage's poem, Give.
Sorry if the end is rushed :P
People rushed past me, anxious to get home from work to a loving family, a hot dinner and a warm bed. Leaves danced around their feet and the wind played with their hair. They all seemed to be focused on getting nowhere faster. I noticed that no one smiled, no one laughed and no one looked at me. Well, apart from a small boy that said something to his mother. She hurried him away quickly though. They always do that.
The people melted into into the buildings. All grey. All dark. All boring. Where was the imagination? Where were the fresh new ideas? The most colour was an adventurous lipstick or a hidden hairclip...
As I propped myself against an alleyway wall I sighed. I didn't know anyone and noone wanted to know me. I was alone. And I was the only one to blame for that...
I decided to ask someone for the time instead of thinking about why I was here, on a damp, cold, harsh New York street.
I walked up to a tall man, his belly bursting through a grey tailored suit. He had a receding hairline and stress wrinkles. He was clean shaven and full of self-importance. As I approached him, he simply quickened his pace. Walked past me. Ignored me like i was a piece of chewing gum that had just been thrown on the ground. Avoided me like I was a black cat, waiting to bestow him with bad luck. I didn't even get the chance to ask the hour.
I wondered whether to ask another person or to leave it there, in fear of rejection. I decided to just go for it. I chose a fairly short woman with a medium brown bob, a grey skirt that ended just below her knees and a face that was soft yet still determined. I confidently walked up to her. Immediately her large green eyes darted in the opposite direction. She, like the man, quickened her pace. But at least I managed to ask the time. She stopped and stared at me with bewilderment as if I had just offended her mother. Then she shook her head, as if she was snapping back to reality, and told me that it was about half past 6. I thanked her and briskly walked away.
As I sat down, a wave of bitter coldness washed over me. Hunger pangs punched my stomach and the damp ground held me as if it was afraid of letting go. I breathed in deeply, letting the sweet smell of Sunday roast, fast food and takeaways fill my nostrils. I allowed the smell alone to replenish me. Feed me. Nourish me.
Eventually, menacing grey clouds began to fill the sky and the darkness swallowed the vast concrete jungle before me in less than an hour. The icy heaviness of the air loomed over the city. A tight packaging, getting ready for everything to be shipped overseas.
The rain started as small tip-tapping on a bus shelter, a sweet ballet dance of raindrops falling from the heavens. I went to cover myself under a ledge of a doorway of a small cornershop. As I curled up in my thin discoloured blanket, my eyelids became heavy and droopy. I drifted off to sleep with the sound of the rain singing me a soft lullaby. As I drifted off, my thoughts wandered to how the harshness and bitterness of the cruel nights almost mirrored the ignorance and glumness of the long days. Both lulling you into a false sense of beauty and security before drenching you head to toe and leaving you shivering out on the streets. Unforgiving. Unfeeling. Unsympathetic. But still strangely fascinating...
When I eventually awoke, it must have been about 10am. Everyone was either busy at work or relaxing at home, apart from a few exceptions that were shopping. I remembered when I was like everyone else. Just another person melting into the scenery. Just another brick in the wall. How easily it went, how shortly it lasted.
I remembered the look on my fiancé's face as I told her that... that... No. It was still too painful to think about...
I had greasy hair, an unshaven beard, old an stale clothes, thin socks and shoes with holes in the soles. My eyes were sore, weary and sunken. My face mapped out my life. I was a far cry from the ambitious, willing, presentable man I used to be... I was undeserving for her to fill my thoughts.
I was still curled up inside my old threadbare blanket, damp from the night rain as well as the morning dew. Rubbish had accumulated around me while I was asleep. As I kicked away a empty crisp packet I realised that no one stared at me like they used to anymore. Had I been there so long that I had become part of the scenery? Was I really so unimportant, so unworthy, so undeserving; that no one wanted to even acknowledge me? And then I thought- why would they want to? I was a nobody. Just like everyone else.