I am going to miss these notebooks …

Found them at Ollie’s for $1.29 years ago and bought the whole case. At first, I used them for various notes but in time they became more precious – designated for emotional outbursts and to write my way out of madness. Less frequently, I took care to note occasional victories or moments of joys. Here and there, evidence of bliss can be found, but more often the words are frustrated, sad, angry and betrayed. They throb with the pain I had to exorcise from my body in order to function.

On one volume, I actually noted for my future dementia-brained self or whatever poor ancestor might have to decide what to do with this mess after I’m gone – “Remember: I only write when it hurts.”

Happiness, humor and hope – the words of my better being – preferred forms of poetry and social posts – not afraid to be seen in public.

There have been many, perfectly peaceful and mundanely serene good days on which I forgot all about me. On some of these days, writing with a clear head and unburdened heart – fiction was born, pages of script were typed and edited. I am most proud of these days. I have worked hard to be free from the damage of chaos, neglect, manipulation, lies and other trauma.

Progress has been made but I am still healing and there will always be bad days. These notebooks have been my closest confidant, journal of tears and fears, hopes and dreams too embarrassing to speak aloud.

Preparing to start a new volume today, I discover there are no more blanks. I don’t know how I will replace them – the weight and quality of these hard cover books are as familiar to me as a lover’s body. Today, I scorn the notion of substitutes with teenage rebellion. In time, I will begrudgingly accept the disappointment of a new compromise. I can’t not write. To live is to continue the story.

I suspect there must be more, older volumes, in the attic – I have a terrible memory, you see, this is also why I write things down. It’s too much of a coincidence these volumes stacked in a corner of my home office should begin and end so neatly with this last, so significant era of my heart-life.

I could not bring myself to read word for word draft prose of the last five years this morning, but I skimmed enough while confirming dates to label volume covers – I have been writing the same story on repeat for five years. Asking the same questions, struggling with the same moral quandaries, praying for the same strength to accept God’s bewildering will and to do the next, best right thing.

There have been moments of variation, of course. But nothing close to shuffle play. The song was a damn good one, too – romantic as fuck, a real tear-jerker – and I still haven’t deciphered the unintelligible lyrics – but the grooves are worn out. The melody has become a warped, diminished version of what it used to be. It’s time to see what’s on the other side of the album.

-ag, one dec 2019