Matt Hallett, Grade 12, Rosny College
Impatiently I look at my watch for what must seem like the hundredth time, trying to focus my tired eyes on the hands and blurred numbers, only to see that it hasn’t changed. He’s late. The street is lined with grimy pubs and seedy night clubs. My legs are straining, the bag in my hands wants to jump out and rest, it’s getting heavy, my body’s getting heavy, in fact I think even my thoughts are weighing too much. I have to stop thinking so much. The strain is grabbing me and pulling me down, its burning hands poking and grabbing at my legs. I shake it off. This provides temporary relief. I close my eyes and ease off the tension of looking at the city and its hustling night life. But one sense down and another prevails to annoy me.
The noise becomes enormous. It’s distorted and clustered, random segments of sound and speech will jump at me and slap me in the face. The barrier of noise starts to swirl around me, I start feeling suffocated, and my own thoughts are being drowned out. I let out a cough, trying to generate my own noise. The cough was feeble, it cut into the sound but was soon sucked up and twirling around within the wall. I’m stuck in a vacuum of sound. I open my eyes and it spooks the sound. It draws back and cowers back into the light.
I take a seat on the cold hard concrete steps; the grit scrapes my bottom of my shoes. I look at the people walking around, blissfully unaware of the time, moving to their own beat. To me, they look like they’re moving to some rhythm, they seem to be dancing around, taunting me to join. It must be the light over there. It floods that half of the street. They’re all soaked in light, it’s pretty much stained their clothes, a bit splashes back and hits my leg, and I jerk it out of the way. Don’t want to draw to much attention to myself. I press my hands to my face, knowing that it’s late, that I haven’t slept for days, my mind is playing with me.
What should a train station smell like? Well, it’s the stench of musty urine that seeps its way out of the bathroom and the smell sticks to the room just too alert me to its company. The fumes of cigarettes line the walls, fighting with the odour of the booze spilled across the ground in some sort of twisted stink off competition. Then there’s the ever present aroma of coffee enticing my nostrils. A coffee would be good right about now, I can actually taste the bitterness and milkiness! I let out a moan of despair so my mind knows it’s bugging me. I keep staring into the vague impressions of passing cars as they rush past, hoping one will slow down enough to brake in front of me, with my friend in the front seat beckoning me in. No one does. At times I think a car is slowing down, but it’s never the case.
Nothing is in sight. At least this city won’t let me fall asleep as I wait. I wrench my arm up to glare at my watch again, only the second hand has moved, the other hands glued to the same, pesky, annoying fixture.