I found you today wadded up in the pocket of a pair of haphazardly discarded jeans, thrown carelessly aside at the end of a long day. It was a routine pocket cleaning before the equally routine cleaning of said jeans. Keys were placed where keys should go. Spare change was sorted and tossed into the silver or cooper storage tubs depending on their material.
My wallet, the walking around sum total of my existence, was laid in its place for safekeeping and ultimate transfer to the next pocket. How strange it is to reach into ones practiced wallet pocket and find nothing there. There is that moment of lost-ness. It is accompanied by a sense of frantic. All else stops at that moment until things in the world are righted and the wallet is in its customary spot.
Then, there was you, in my hand, headed to the closest trash container. However, my fingers lingered long enough for my curiosity to catch up with them. Something radiated through the crumpled folds and spherical shape. Interest worked its way until my fingers casually unfolded, uncrumpled, and opened until there you were, in your full glory, lying before my eyes.
The handwriting was unmistakable. The words were unrelenting. At some point during a day of that week, these were my emotions scribbled on virgin paper. The unadulterated sentiment violated the purity of the paper. Some word, some action, some deed, bore into my soul and it belched forth and fell in the lines of the sheet. It was a nearly lost testament to the effect of an incredulous event.
I read the words like the life of a dear old friend who had walked beside me for as long as I have had my shadow. Gone were leading edges of whatever created this bludgeoning tide on its path to forever alter the shore. The substance brought in the frothing white of the wave was, in part, still scattered about the coast. Elements of the shoreline were carried away as the wave ebbed in the defeat of the force once so powerful. The roar and the spray abated.
It does not really matter exactly what created the words or the wave. That has already been melded into the vast sea. In short time it will be indistinguishable. All that will be left to remind me that it occurred at all, are the words on a wadded piece of paper and the clutter on the beach. In time, the ebb and flow of the ocean will take even the clutter to its watery grave.
If I will look back and see this at all, it will be on another day, when I spy a formerly crumpled piece of paper with unmistakable handwriting, unrelenting words, unadulterated sentiment, and vague familiarity. All that is left in those well chosen polished words is the earnest of an event. I will take a moment. I will remember with some effort. Then, the paper will go back to its resting place until the next time curiosity finds it ways to my fingers. Like the paper, the words will be wadded back into my life. Another day, another word, another crumpled piece of paper. Life goes on.
Ron Simpson, Jr.
July 16, 2008