Tainted

December 22, 2012 § 2 Comments

It was a normal day in English. Our class was chatting, and our teacher had left to retrieve something somewhere in our small school; he couldn’t have gone far. Suddenly he came into the room, arms pulled down by the weight of a grey concrete block. He dropped it on a desk and told us to describe it in one word. We went around the tables multiple times, throwing out adjectives of all sorts, some physical, some abstract, and a few classmates wrote them all on the board. The white boards were no longer white, but blue with as many words as you could think of to describe a cinder block. When we were finished, our teacher told us to choose one word. We did. Then he assigned the homework: describe the cinder block without using any of these words, but you must express the word you chose in some way. Here’s what I wrote:

The young woman was sitting on the bench, waiting for the bus. She had gotten off of work early, but consequently had to wait for the city’s schedule to catch up with hers. On the parallel sidewalks, people were busily commuting home, and some to 3rd shift at work; the sun was already showing hints of disappearing. It was apparent that the woman’s thoughts were preoccupied, but the passers-by took little notice of her. She might as well have been dead and rotting in the grave. It was almost as if she were a sculpture on the street, made to be looked at only on special occasions, but otherwise ignored. 

Another street ornament caught her sight. It was by no means handsome, but it was beautiful in its own way. The cinder block was thoroughly inconsistent, and unexpectedly fascinating. Her gaze was locked on the common piece of artificial block. It reminded her of someone she knew. Outwardly both the gray lump and the human were weathered, but the inside of both was so set apart and hidden from the world that no one but the creator could possibly know what it looked like. Tossed around by the storms of life, and finally abandoned on an island— they were so alone amongst many. Their purity had been polluted when they chose a different path, and the cold world turn its back on their existence. At the thought of them she was filled with sorrow and remorse. She was very much apart of the world, and very much apart of the ones who had turned away from the broken-hearted object of her thoughts. After being concealed and prized for so long, both the block and the person had been exposed to the world’s rotten moral compass, and unintentionally affected.

Suddenly the tired woman was pulled away from her thoughts by the screeching brakes of the city bus, and the city noises filled her ears once again as reality came to life around her. Reflections of the past half hour collided with the facts, and her firm resolution to visit with that man of her past disintegrated. She boarded the bus and chose an empty seat. It disappeared around the next crowded city block, carrying her homeward.

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