Simply To Go is an assignment I wrote for my English 110 class. The paper was titled “composed sensory monologue”, and was an exercise in conveying sensory imagery through creative writing. We were instructed to take a person, place or object; observe them; and convert it into a visual and auditory experience. This is what I came up with:
“Composed Sensory Monologue”
Simply To Go
Casual conversations tiptoe from the mouths of many; my music is actively trying to shun them from my ears. Behind J. Cole, several voices escalate to a mumbled roar, much like a dragon with a muzzle. Some mouths just move up and down, while others contort into grins, grimaces, and jaded, straight faces; their expressions give me a peek into how their day is going. It seems as though everyone is on their phones, but then again so am I. With every beat I get hungrier and hungrier; my stomach is pounding with the urge to eat. The tang of sour cream is overwhelming my senses, blending my smell and taste into one. My stomach is no longer just rumbling; now, it hurts. As a girl nonchalantly walks past, the mashed potatoes proudly displayed in her hand look at me with a sly smirk, taunting me with the girl’s every move. Laughter catches my attention, forcing me to look up at a matching cluster of girls; all I now see are parkas, Uggs, and leggings.
A bright colored jacket passes by and forces my head in a different direction, calling my attention to its numerous stripes and its lively spirit. Uninterested, I check back at my phone. The calming melody in my ears fades to the background as I can actively hear myself thinking. All of a sudden, I notice myself inadvertently swaying left and right, and I can tell my hunger is intensifying. I can hear faint shuffling of feet behind me as I watch more people gather to receive lunch; as the masses pile in, the hotter I feel inside my jacket.
I can still feel the lingering effect of the cold wind on my hands. The burning subsides with an unpleasant reminder from my gut. The dense aroma of the mashed potatoes being devoured at a nearby table actually sickens me. Looking down, I try my hardest to think of something else; fortunately, the salt stains on my boots are anything but discrete. It appears as though the winter elements are trying to defeat anyone who dares to challenge them, and, by the looks of surrounding shoes, winter is winning.
“For here or to go?” The words I’ve been waiting so long to hear finally cascade out of the lunch lady’s mouth. Not only is the smell stronger now than it was before, but, for a moment, my hunger subsides altogether; it’s as if my stomach knows it’s about to get what it has long waited for. The hot to-go box of mashed potatoes gives my hand a huge surprise, along with the sudden feeling of relief from my stomach’s relentless displeasure. Weaving around people to get to the refrigerated drinks is a struggle; however, the relief of the cool temperatures on my face is completely worth it. The seemingly freezing water now in my hand intensifies the almost unbearable heat from my food in the other. My hand slips the cool water into my heated coat pocket, freeing itself to reach for my ID card.
The harsh, unforgiving wind whips across my face as the cold, metal door opens in front of me. The wind whispers and yells at me all at the same time. The hand grasping the plastic bag I received is now burning from the angry winter air; the reoccurring hunger dissipates as a new pain arises. The cool crispness is surprisingly refreshing, even though, at the same time, it feels as if it is tearing my skin apart. The sight of my hall inflicts a new kind of agony. My heavy feet stumble on the slippery yet bumpy ground. The weight in my hand reminds me of how close I am to eating yet far away.
The old, thick cotton drapes in the study conceal the cold, snowy outside adversity, even though a drafty window is trying its hardest to let the outside in. The table is covered in various candies; their faint scent would be enticing if it weren’t for my uncontrollable focus on my freshly made meal. My eyes can barely handle the amazing mixture of colors that sit before me; the buttery yellow of the corn, the vibrant orange of the shredded cheese, and the deep scarlet of the bacon bits all mixed together to form a beautiful array of flavor.
My mouth salivates in anticipation while my hand digs savagely through my bag in desperate search of a fork. Clutching the smooth, cheap plastic, my hand ignores the crinkle of the plastic bag as it hurriedly moves on. The first bite is everything I hoped it would be and more. The up and down movements of my jaw come without thought, swirling the captivating zests throughout my mouth. The pop of the corn and the subtleness of the potatoes mix perfectly together, entwined in stringy cheese and sour cream. My blissful mouthful descends to my stomach, finally calming the beast that was raging inside me. The tastes mixed with the pleasant aroma encase my senses, and with every bite a fresh waft of potatoes and sour cream consume the air around me. My stomach calms, and my mind sharpens; all pain is gone as I sit and watch the cold, vicious environment take its next victim.