Bad Tone | Quick Piece Breakdown

Bad Tone

On my laptop, I have a virtual sticky note filled with writing prompts from my friends and random encounters. This piece was inspired by my daily commute to school. Since I live in an apartment that’s owned by the University, I have to take a bus. There’s never really a dull moment on the bus because everyone I see definitely has a story to tell. One day, someone whistling pretty badly, so I tied in my other experiences with this one pretty unique one and wrote a story.

This piece starts off with someone stuck between two people, typical people you would see on a college campus. At a first glance, the girl sitting next to the narrator appears to be judgemental and scrutinizing, dragging her friend along with the fun. Why would she deliberately do such a thing if she wasn’t brought up that way or if she picked it up from somewhere. Maybe she is also insecure about herself so she would drag others down with her and since her friend “approves” of it, it’s okay. Maybe she doesn’t know how to show that she cares about the poor girl in the pictures, so she belittles her. Maybe she’s trying to win the approval of her “friend”. From just a little observation, five more stories appear. On the other hand, the guy appears to be not wanting to deal with anything by not interacting with much around him. Yet, he could be going through a lot so he doesn’t feel very stable at the moment. Maybe he’s just naturally like that and he’s simply being himself. Maybe he has a test coming up so he’s a little nervous, but at the same time, trying to calm himself down. These two minor characters, play a large role by telling how the narrator sees people and their life in general.

Then, a new element is introduced to the piece – the bad tone. It’s the implement change and difference in this routine world, the bus ride. The narrator tries to identify it without drawing attention to themselves, but the tone can’t be found. Everyone else on the bus doesn’t really pay much attention to it because they’re wrapped up in their own world. In the end, the narrator feels like they’re being singled out and I kind of leave you thinking who the real outlier or if there really was an actual outlier to the scene.

Essentially this piece was about judgement and fitting in as well as what it means to be yourself. There are also the tones of being in your twenties and being still unsure of who you are or what you’ve become. It’s all a work in progress and it can feel evasive even though we’re all going through it.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this piece!



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