Leaf by leaf, page by page / throw this book away / all the sadness all the rage / throw this book away...
The notebook has been with me for a while. It's torn up and bent, with dog-eared corners, stained by ink and discolored by water. The cardboard back has a missing corner, from the time it was caught with me in the rain, and the page that's directly near the back is all discolored, no longer squared in places, the ink washed away.
Seven months of my life this notebook has been with me, since the beginning of May, and it's the first notebook to come out of its time with me battered and torn and beaten up. It's also the first notebook I feel an impulse to throw away, rather than keep.
Page. An elaboration on loneliness, from when I did not even have an internet connection to find friends to talk with.
Page. A six-page letter to some lost friends, that I never sent.
Page. Class notes, a list of names, a phone number and two email addresses.
Page. Ripped out, folded in half and stuffed back in the notebook, three sentences, a story title and another sentence, for three unrelated stories.
Page. A letter to a lost friend, which got changed a bit and then sent.
Page. Several pages missing, but I know where they are, safe in the large binder I keep all my stories in. Two, one, one, and sixteen pages, both stories and notes for stories. The sixteen pages are the beginning of a rewrite of a long story (or novel), with several notes on that story's world. From a mercifully happy period of these past six months.
Page. More pages missing, two and six pages, notes for a FAQ and a letter to a lost friend, which was rewritten slightly and sent, and helped me find that friend again. Folded in half and tucked away in a different notebook, I can't bring myself to throw them away.
Page. A temporary university class schedule, as well as several scribbles from when my pen quit working in mid-letter and I attempted to revive it.
Page. Titles of two textbooks. I hate wasting paper like that, but there was nothing else that would fit on that page.
Page. A two-page draft of a letter or blog post, which ended up being reworked into a longer text.
Page. A fragment of a story, again ripped out, folded in half and tucked back in.
Page. A ten-page letter to somebody who hurt me and mine. Sent, though the addressee will not listen; but it wasn't written for them, it was written for myself.
Page. Three pages of a random flow-of-consciousness story, just playing around with styles and character ideas.
Page. Random notes and jottings, including two URLs from a class.
Page. Three blank pages...
Six months have passed. I am happy now, I believe. What shall I write in them?