Individualists in Uniform

by Mel George

I put down the shopping bags which were cutting into my hands for a few minutes, and as I looked up, my eyes fell upon a goth. Under the thick, black makeup she couldn't have been more than fifteen; those people who assume that teenagers always “loiter” would have said she was loitering outside the McDonald's, shrouded in black, staring at the ground in a fairly melancholy fashion. For some reason, today, I seized the opportunity to ask. I wandered over and excused myself politely before saying, “Don't take this the wrong way, I'm just curious – your clothes, the whole 'goth' thing – why do you do it?" She peered at me strangely through her long, black fringe and muttered, “I do it cos I want to be different, not the same as everybody else." We got no further though, as her friends appeared and they mooched off together in a huddle of long, black apparel and mysterious jewelery, all dressed exactly the same.


Mel George, author of Distance, lives in Oxford partly because it is one of the strangest places on Earth. She would like to hear from you at The Pygmy Giant if you are British and like writing things.