95. The Man in 5C

Author: Grant Stimmel, Junior

Ahh “This Week At Elon” a literary treat,
A weekly publication, a scholarly feat.

I open the link with an excitable click,
Such information, oh wow! My heart starts to tick.

I scan and I scroll, searching’s no sin.
For a competition or contest, something to win!

At last I see it, could this really be?
A writing competition, tailored just for me?

Yes, it is so, it really is real.
So I investigated further to find out the deal.

After hours of thinking, I knew what to write,
A social injustice, an untold plight.

What is a topic so completely ignored,
That professors will read this without being bored?

I discovered my answer by chance as it were,
An experience so gripping, it caused quite a stir.

On an airplane no less, this story came to be,
On a flight to Raleigh, that cost quite a fee.

As I waited for my flight to depart from the gate,
I engaged in talks with my portly seatmate.

He was quite a looker, this man next to me.
Seventy years old with a graying goatee.

It was then that he said what I won’t soon forget,
He said it concisely, with just the right wit.

“Everyone is scowling, is this what you see?”
“They just don’t look happy, it can’t be just me.”

I looked up from SkyMall, with one thing on the brain.
Who would buy this junk? I thought with distain.

But my neighbor continued, he was determined to say.
“Look at them all, they’re filled with dismay.”

I set down my reading, to see this sad sight,
And sure enough I realized, this man was right.

The flight attendant grumbled her mesmerized speech,
Tray tables up, she was no peach.

I looked to my right to find more of the same,
A teenager next to his mom who was just, SO lame.

Surely behind me a respite I’d see,
Of course a smile would be waiting for me.

I’m sorry to tell you, that’s wasn’t the find.
Alas, the response simply, “DO YOU MIND!

“See what I mean”, said my seat neighbor,
“Nobody is happy, smiling is labor.”

I nodded grimly, but how could I repair,
This fact that so many are filled with despair.

And then I decided, what must be done,
To rid the world of sadness and add some fun.

I must enter this contest of literary giants.
And spread my simple message of depression defiance.

A social injustice, an ignored human right?
Happiness is one, which has gone from our sight.

So often we wake up, with a frown on our face.
Preparing ourselves against societal mace.

But the story we write, as we move though our lives
Need not include such wild mood dives.

It can be much better, that much I’ve seen,
If only everyone stopped acting so mean.

So take a moment to think of the good in your life.
Call up your father, hug your wife.

For as my seatmate so aptly discussed,
Negativity isn’t needed, it’s just not a must.

I don’t know the name of this man I’m beside,
But he certainly made it a better plane ride.

I’ll always remember that man from 5C,
For he taught me the importance of being happy.






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