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Script for Reality

by Sarah M. Hinson, 15, Monroe, Connecticut

It is impossible to write a script for the reality play
To one it may be reality
To others less fortunate, a dream?
And even if one wrote this script, would it be true for others?
To you it may be waking up bright and early
Not to the rooster's crow but to the Monday morning traffic report
Dressing in your three piece suit
Grab a bagel and coffee on your way out the door
Just another day, in your reality
To a dirty little boy sitting in the alleyway it may be
Finally finding the remains of a half-eaten spaghetti dinner
With a garlic roll now crawling with ants
But providing enough energy to use his knobby knees
To get to the next dumpster
To an old lady it may be daydreaming out her tiny window
Looking down this dark space between her building and the next
Curiously observing a small silhouetted figure that looks like a boy
Numbing her ears to the steady beeping noise
Her only chance for survival
Scattered across her tray where the plastic medicine cup is still rolling
Side to side
Side to side
As her eyelids slowly creep over her faded blues
She wonders whether she will wake up or not
For the weeping mother it could be
Waking up around noon
Peering out the window at the glaring rays of sunshine
And shielding the light from her weary bloodshot eyes
Brushing aside the mountains of used tissues
Wandering around aimlessly before once again repeating her routine
That she knows not like the back of her hand
Because she doesn't even look at the back of her hand
But like the curves of his face
Driving by all the places he usually went
All the memories flood back as she sees a middle-aged mother
Strolling around in the park with her son
And trying to keep ahold of her little one
As he reaches for anything and everything he sees
And she wishes that it was her, her reality
And she finds herself at the nursing home doors once more
But she can't force herself to go in
To the prettiest girl in high school
It may be strutting down the hallways
Oblivious to the open jaws and stares
With a huge white gleaming smile on her face
Girls want to be her, guys want to be with her
But they don't know that every night she hesitates to go through her screen door
To the man on the couch, smelling of barbecue potato chips and Heineken
Who no one sees outside with his children or at church on Sundays
Every day she takes the long way home from school
Between buildings and pathways
But it does not change her fate
The man who she hides from is waiting for her there
And each night as he takes her innocence from her
She cannot help but curl up in her corner
Wishing away her reality
Rocking herself slowly
Back and forth
Back and forth
Until she finally falls asleep and dreams
About the little boy she saw sleeping in the alleyway
And for me
It may seem as though everything is just fine
I wake up and go to work
Come home and eat dinner
Go out with friends
Talk to the boyfriend that loves me
Go to sleep with a shy smile on my face
But they don't know
That at work I sometimes creep off into the bathroom
Around lunchtime when nobody's there
Only sniffles can be heard
Then I fix my mascara and take a good look
But I am disgusted at what looks back at me
Head hanging low I return to my cubicle
And as I wind my spaghetti noodles and force myself to eat
At dinner, casual conversation goes on about our days
I simply put on a smile and tell them of the events of the day
Remembering to leave out that during working hours
I could be found writing poetry to escape this madness I possess
Then take a stroll down the road to an alleyway
Dump my half-eaten spaghetti dinner into a nearby dumpster
And return to my dark house silhouetted across the street
After I wash my face and turn out the light
Feel around for my bed and sigh as I finally can lie down
I pull out the tissue box from under my bed
And as the tears cascade down my cheek
And my eyes flood once more
I struggle and shakily turn the corners of my mouth upward
Until I shake no more, and my breathing slows to a steady pace
Some might call it a smile
Some might call it a frown in disguise
I call it hope
I don't know how but it has remained with me
And for some reason I am still here
Even though no one can understand
No one sees the vivid nightmares
No one gets chills when a short man walks by on the streets of New Haven
No one is so completely distorted that they don't even know what they are anymore
Maybe, just maybe you could try to understand
Not understand who I am
Or how I think
Or how I feel
But understand why you can't possibly understand me
Because you are not in my reality
For me to tell my story I would have to write
A chapter for every frown
A book for every tear
A volume for every cut
A series for every attempt
And I still would not be able to put into words how I feel
Or the typical businessman
Or the little boy sleeping soundly next to the dumpster
Or the old woman in the nursing home
Or the grieving mother
Or the high school prom queen
Because it is all in their reality
The reality that you cannot see or touch
That lingers above us when we sit on our porch after it rains
That is at the place where the sun hits the ocean
That is on the second-to-last page in the newspaper where no one looks
That is in the petals when you smell a rose
That is in ice cold lemonade on a hot summer day
That is guiding a tear and tells it which way to fall
That is the reason why lightning bugs light up
That is why you fall in love
That is the smell of towels fresh out of the dryer
That is a tsunami in the Sahara
That is what makes gold sparkle
That is who holds you tight when you have nowhere to turn
That is only your reality, and no one else's
It is who you are
And where you are
What you are
And everything around you
How you effect the world
How you try to understand
Or how you try to help me
Frustrated into a hurricane of confusion
Just why am I this way?
Maybe if you were me
Would you enter my reality?
Then could you understand?
Everyone is connected through their realities
Yet everyone is different
People are so wrapped up in their own lives
That they don't even notice the others
If they knew what went on in people's lives
Would they finally be able to understand?
We will never know that, but
All I know is
Even if you walked a mile in my shoes
You would just be a mile away
With half a dozen blisters
And old, tattered shoes.

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