If Only it Were the Same
Bustling people push and shove in the streets. There are thousands of young men and women, walking, talking, smoking. Passerbys move on, paying no attention to the stillness of one woman. She watches as the train pulls away. The last step of the journey that took her away from her home. Her hair is blown into her face, yet she does not bother to push it away. Her eyes roam the streets. She is looking around, as she is overlooked by the people. All she can comprehend is the noise, a new noise of a new place, of New York. There will be a new language to learn. New people to meet. A new home, a new culture, and in the end, a new opportunity. If it can be reached. She starts to walk, to where she does not know. Looking at the sign to tell her where a place to sleep is, translating it in her dictionary. The letters swim in the tears pooling in her eyes. The words are unfamiliar. So are the faces streaming past. And the streets under her feet. Ahead of her lies a path of hardship. A struggle to be accepted by others, to complete a basic conversation most know as infants, to have a bed to sleep in and the money to pay for it. To have a new job, and new life. To create a new life. There’s no going back. To be reborn into a different person, culture, world. To forget all that was before and work for all that is ahead.
A hostel is found. The receptionist asked her many questions, and when met with her glazed expression, brought her to her room anyway. She exchanges some foreign bills and lies in bed. The sun lowers over the horizon. It is the same sun she has always seen. Radiating a mellow light. One of the few things that remained consistent, like the clothes on her back. Lowering her head on the pillow and closing her eyes, she can see home resting on her eyelids, the muted countryside. Years will pass, and yet she still knows no matter how successful she is, no matter how beautiful the opportunities are, the memory will still remain, a past life unforgotten.
Her English has developed, the streets are easy to navigate, the job pays well, she found a nice house in a nice area, the kids laugh often. Her life has unfolded and yet the memory of home still rests between sleep and awake. It is harsh and different, some parts brilliant. Yet home still remains, glowing in the past. She has struck gold in America, yet not forgotten the old comfort of home. Of the same value and old friends. It is too late to return. She does not doubt her old home that has changed. A home which has not remained the same. She lies in bed, thinking these thoughts, feeling tears leak from her eyes and down her worn face. The sun sinks down over the horizon. It is the same sun that sinks here that will rise there, the same sun as always. The only same she knows.
This piece came from my parents’ experience with immigration. I wanted to reader to understand how hard it is to immigrate, and that is like being a new person, being reborn into a new culture. I tried to show that everything was new, they were all people and so was she (the main character), but everything was a challenge for her, and she was facing it on her own. I want to try and erase the receptivity and create structure and emotion. I would like help trying to make this piece come alive.