Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

In Waves of Humanity

A drop of sweat lingers on her forehead, glistening in the afternoon light that beats down on its victims. Her voice rings out, bellowing her protest, though it has a harsh new hoarseness to it acquired over the length of the morning. She sits cross-legged on a peace-sign-painted Volkswagen bus, holding one end of a large paper decorated in sharpie. This is their war paint, this is their war, and this is their part in fighting the one taking place overseas. The man holding the other end of the sign offers her a bottle of water, half full, though she took the proffered liquid with eyes that could see it only as half empty. She paused to sip from it, her lips lingering on the plastic for a moment of thought before she held it over her head and tilted it back, letting the cool droplets drizzle down over her hair to be caught by her bandanna. “Thanks”, she smiled at him, placing the remainder next to her.
The crowd below the van was tight, packed with sweating, clamoring bodies; a mass of humanity forming together for one cause in one place at one time.
Their mouths move as if rhythmically with hers, but she is the voice of the loudspeaker.
If the world could agree like these people, then there would be no need to protest. But that is not the way the world works, and that will not change, not today, not tomorrow, not a million years from this day, because society cannot come together; there will always be a cause, and it will always be divided. But for today, yes for just this day, they were the voice of the cause fighting to end the cause, fighting to end the division. More than that they were common people, forced here by what they believed to be unnecessary death. They were brothers and sisters, fighting for their brothers and sisters, real or metaphorical, to end the fight. They were, unbeknownst to them, the voice of their generation. And they were all, in different voices, asking for peace. They asked for the brothers who were drafted, they asked for the families who suffered, for the mothers of the brothers.
She looks over as their sign starts to tilt, glaring at him.
“I dunno man, I need a rest…” he trails off as she catches his eye. She passes him the water, and he sighs. “That’s not it man, my arms hurt...” She squeezes her eyes shut as he speaks, as if in exasperation. “Mine too, but I have a question for you…” He waits as she pauses, his lips down-turned as she asks, “When’s your birthday again?”
Some of them were here to support the general cause from a less biased respect than she. You could say that she was more passionate about the protest than some, as she was fighting for a brother, not metaphorically, but literally. She was fighting for her brother John, her little brother, who she had watched grow up, and now, who people declared preemptively to be dead. This was indeed an oftentimes accurate generalization, and it was so that she could not understand how her friends acted so nonchalant, and it was so that she rejected even a toke. It was not just some social gathering; to her this tar was not a high school gym. And as the sun dropped down beneath concrete walls, she would make sure that she was the last voice to be heard ranging out to the man, to the men behind the building walls. She would be heard. “Peace!”



Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

Site Feedback