To vent. To make sense. To find a way to explain how you could be so ridiculous? You wrote to process, to tell a story. Did that really happen?.
All those words written. Done and done. Purge, the purpose. A retching of poison, a letting of blood. Get back in that bed you made. Lie, lie, lie.
Shame and guilt, a foundation of sand. Drape them in indigo and call them humor. Self-defecating. No, that's not right.
Wasn't that story milked dry, emptied of energy anyway?
The words, left in the sun, faded on the printed pages.The files deleted - some on purpose. Others? It's not called a crash for nothing.
Tucked away now where it can't hurt you or anyone else.
Time passes. Words fade. Memories muddy. Sharp edges soften.
Then something happens. Something strange. Strange because you don't believe in signs unless they're convenient and fit your current internal narrative. Which compounds your cynicism and confirms your inability to believe. Faith is always just out of your reach. The mystical residing well beyond your pedestrian imagination.
It's just another day at the office. You're in the break room looking at the books on the swap shelves. Hoping to find something to hold your son's interest among the Harlan Cobens, Stephen Kings, Lisa Scottolinis, James Pattersons and Agathas.
You reach for a book. The Raft of the Medusa. It's a familiar title, but you don't know a thing about the story so you sit on the floor and read the dust jacket. Oh, right. It was a painting you studied in art history. By Gericault, the painter upon whose life the novel is based. You start to put the book back on the shelf. Not at all your son's type of story.
And that's when a book falls off the shelf and lands on the carpet next to you.
You look around. This is a joke, right? How is it possible that this book, this very book would be stuck among the thrillers and mysteries? But then, no one here knows that long-buried story. No one here would play that joke.
You think anew about the faded words on those dusty, ignored pages. Raw material for a story that time has made more relevant, not less. A new vein opens, begging to be mined. You pick the book up from the floor and stand. Hesitate next to the trash can wondering.
Have you learned from your mistakes? An Oscar Wilde quote tries to come back to you, but gets batted away as a colleague rounds the corner and enters the kitchen.