Hayden Field describes his life as plot twist after plot twist. So it’s not surprising that, in his final year of school, he went to Story Factory to write his own book, a novella called Bus of ’96.
Published early this year, the book draws on his experiences in “nitty gritty” Western Sydney to tell the stories of people travelling together on a bus.
“It discusses things like poverty, family, love,” Hayden says. “It has some parts to do with death and letting go of grudges or friendships or expectations.”
Hayden, 19, describes himself as a trans disabled writer. He says: “I personally have always felt really secluded from my peers and separated because of my differences.”
Finding like-minded people at Story Factory made him feel part of a community.
“I had no idea there were so many people that cared about writing because for a lot of the time it was just me,” he says.
“Story Factory kind of taught me to hold my head up higher than it was before and that my work has value.”
Excerpt from Bus of ’96 by Hayden Field
Stand J held the least amount of people. Yet, you noted, it collected the most trash. Empty take-out bags were spread unevenly on the platform – the product of a subtle wind in the late evening. Graffiti littered the place more densely than the other stands, and the synthetic glass that surrounded the bus bay was cracked in two places. The people around you didn’t notice this. There was only one who bothered to look at the timetable, only to be defeated by graffiti that had been rampant for a lifetime. You found yourself smiling at them. They must be new around here – no regular would look at the timetable, nor look so antsy when they look at their friends. Regulars all knew that the bus came when it would – this stand was not a place for the impatient. This bus, the only bus that came to Stand J, considered emergencies a state of mind. All one could do was wait.
You can purchase Hayden’s book here.