Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Palimpsest

     I went back to that page, the one that we'd marked. The ink wasn't faded, though the paper was yellowed. After you read those words and took to the book with your red marker, I wasn't sure what I'd think, going back. I can't read the end of the story now, you blacked it out. To be fair, I'd written a chapter open ended enough you can't be blamed. The story took a wrong turn, and it was my doing, but I'd hoped to get our characters back on track. That's all moot now, and barring a re-write, we're left with this abrupt and surprising end.
      As I thumbed through the old chapters, I found an odd sight: all the exclamation points were piled at the bottom of each page, a sad little clump of past excitement. Daring myself, I held my breath and turned to that awful page, the crux of the story. I could see my words, my plotting, clearly enough under the blood red scribbles you'd angrily cast about, and on the next page, a question mark. Past that, it was all blank. I ran my nail along your wild, frenzied lines and scrawls of red. I did the same to my seriffed, ordered regiments of black letters. I scraped and cleaned the ink and blood into my palm. I shook out the remainders of our story, and the exclamation points, with the sound of tiny bells, fell out into my palm.
 "This is it," I told myself. "This is our story, our meeting, our parting, and everything in between."I blew the collection of letters, punctuation, and and angry red flakes out of my palm, as though making a wish, though my mind was blank. The wind carried it all away, and I thumbed quickly through the now blank pages. All in all, this tiny brown leather thing wasn't as baffling as I'd once felt it to be, yet still, was it an artifact or testament? I remembered your dream about the book, and with the memory came a shudder as I tasted vinegar on my tongue. I packed the book away. We'll both tell other stories, I reminded myself.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful and painful at the same time. I like your words sir :)

    Later with love