Friday, February 12, 2010

Out With The Old, In With The New

There was a young girl's Body Found in a park less than a mile from my home. Then for most of the evening a helicopter was cruising over my rooftop and back and forth across the neighborhood. Searching for some perpetrator who'd been seen in the region and reported by some civic-minded citizen.

That's not the first time, either. I've started to get used to the sound of that copter clamoring overhead. Crime, crime, crime. It's rampant in Jacksonville, FL no matter what trend the accumulated statistics might be allowed (by political manipulators) to indicate.

Yesterday morning I thought that it should be easy to get some serious novel writing done that day. Nothing else appealed to me at all. Didn't much want to do anything, especially anything physical. I figured that I would just paste my butt to the chair and pound away at the keys.

Things did not turn out that way though. About all I got accomplished was that I sorted and packaged for shipment most of my old photo albums and all those loose pictures from the past scattered about in lidless shoe boxes and tucked away in old faded manila envelopes.

Well . . . no, I did achieve one other thing. In a sudden fit of miniature melancholia (some sort of emotional reaction to a trivial bit of microscopic rage I suppose) I threw out all my old original manuscripts. The first drafts of all I'd written throughout my lifetime that I had saved for years and years.

Reminders of the myriad failures and of the painfully slow process of self-teaching of English composition and How-To-Write learned by trial-and-error that I had saved since the 1970s -- ALL of them -- some written in pencil and pen and others typed on old key-clogged manual portable typewriters -- saved for all those years, survivors of many moves from state to state, city to city.

And along with them I callously tossed in my huge collection of moldering rejection slips. A lifetime's worth. All of them. All of those cold stark and ugly printed form-letters along with the hastily penned little personal notes from thoughtful editors.

All of them are now resting to rot in peace in discarded flimsy plastic grocery bags in the bottom of my curbside trash can awaiting final burial in a landfill by the 'pall-bearers' -- the city sanitation workers who will arrive in the darkness of early morning this coming Monday well before the light of day.

The past is the past and no longer exists except in memory.

Out with the old and in with the new.

. . .

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that was a huge step, getting rid of all your old material.