I Can't Answer Why, But I Can Tell You How
Amy O'rourke, Grade 11, Hunter Valley Grammar School
The city is a vast place. Streets turning this way and that, connecting things that seem so distant as to be almost unimaginable. The surfaces are harsh with concrete and fencing to prevent one area bleeding into any others. The streets though, the alleyways, they undermine the rigidity and structure of this place.
New York air is crisp, fresh and intriguing. You want to be in the city; there's so much to learn and so many discoveries to be made. The noises range from roaring fury to dead silence. You'd never have thought that a city could be silent, but I can tell you that it is, at times. Those times can get scary, but then, somewhere, a pin always drops.
Right now, the city is running at a stable mezzo forte. It's busy with people, walking from here to there, making connections and breaking some too. Sometimes the people break into a running frenzy, which always makes me feel uneasy, but today is calm yet functional and prosperous.
Here comes the man, brave enough to walk casually when every else is in a state of panic. The slender old man, wearing his flat cap and stripey blue gloves, approaches the corner crossing and stands patiently. His greying blonde hair now occupies the area where luscious locks and electric red spikes, amongst many others, once lived. He's dressed in black, with nothing to distinguish him apart from his oddly childish striped gloves, which are most certainly fitting. The black t-shirt paired with casual jeans gives no indication of the fancy all-in-one suits with sequins and glitter that one grace his now wiry frame. I've never thought to what he's smell like, but I think his scent would be warmth. He's a warm person. I read his story in his eyes; the same page, from the same book, but one is in paperback.
He crosses the street and enters the warehouse-like structure on the other side. I wonder what he's doing.
Slowly an ideas presents itself. The lyrics come so easily, like words have no boundaries, no rules and whatever I put down was magic. The tune came to me without even a second's consideration.
The skinny old man leaves the warehouse, with a smile lurking around his lips and proceeds to walk the streets once more, making connections, but breaking a few at the same time.
The city is my friend, but also my enemy. When I need help, with my connections, I look for the man. I no longer see him through my window, I have to look through the skylight, but he's still there. And sometimes, when the city gets hectic, he appears, on the streets again, walking my connections, slowing down the runners. He's with me forever, to help me create my own coping ways. The words he speaks, even the silent ones, always help slow the streets or break the bad connection.
He still walks casually, but never wanders. He's not a wandering star.