Tuesday, January 13

Totall recall

Do oil painters remember each stroke, each independent mix of colors, each region of each canvas? The time they pressed hard enough for some of the pain to wrap around the edge of the canvas, or the time they didn't lay enough paint down but left it that way?

More urgently to me just now is: do authors remember all of their prose?

A few years ago i read a book that was written by a fond acquaintance of mine. She was kind enough to send me a copy with a personal handwritten note in the front jacket. It was an enjoyable read, and felt more than a little autobiographical (hey– write what you know, right?). There was a cold grey Northern California beach, a teacher, and a murder. The one thing i remember most about it, though, was this phrase: 'concrete apron'. As in, 'he looked out across the concrete apron of his driveway to the street beyond'. i immediately felt a small thrill; i was thirty years old and an avid reader, but had never once heard the word 'apron' used that way.

Five years later, i still remember this phrase. It pops into my head every so often and i marvel at it, turning it around to look at it from every angle. And i always remember the story (it was early in the book, too– first chapter even, maybe), and then the girl who wrote it. But then one day i wondered:

Does she remember it?

Does she remember writing it? Did it pop into her head randomly one day while out driving, or did she crack open a thesaurus some rainy afternoon while writing her rough draft and hunt for a synonym to the word 'driveway'? Or did she perhaps know someone who laid concrete for a living and heard them use the word in passing while discussing a recent job site? Does she even remember that it is in there? i don't know why these thoughts obsess me. i could easily send her a message on Facebook and ask her about those two little words... but then, if she had forgotten them, i would be making her once again privy to my own little secret pleasure.

Although if we're being honest, she is the one who gave me that treasure in the first place– i may as well hand it back to her.


And speaking of handing back: i woke up the other day with the phrase 'Mrs. Jessop handed her the pen' ringing in my brain; to my knowledge i did not read it anywhere and it was just some random unique string of words that coalesced in the folds of my brain for some reason. i immediately pictured some beautiful old drawing room, with portraits on the wall and ferns everywhere, dust motes falling gently through the sunlight streaming in that breaks up the darkness. Mrs. Jessop has her hair up in a large loose poofy bun and is wearing Victorian clothing. Her face is hurried and shows a bit of distaste as she hands the pen off to [        ], who i am drawing a complete blank on. Funny how that works.


A super creepy dream i woke from about four mornings ago:
i was explaining to someone, 'here is what happens when i blink:' [i somehow illustrate/convey to them the idea of an afterimage] '...it has a history of sadness in Sweden.'

Yes, yes of course. The Swedes. They would totally find afterimages melancholy. ?!?

It should also be mentioned that just before i went to sleep i was lying on my bed staring at the light on the ceiling (had thrown my back out and was trying to stretch it) and kept zoning out on it for too long then tearing my eyes away abruptly to the clean slate of the ceiling only to see the inverse-color version of the light fixture. This happened over and over again. Enough, apparently, to burn deep into my psyche (and, likely, my retinas).


Lost two of my absolute favorite buttons in 2014 (the first one just this most recent new year's eve):

i'd open up my heart, but then all of the hostile undertones would escape


i've stopped worrying... and that has me worried!

...of course i want to try and find replacements but then it occurred to me: as hilarious as these sentiments are, maybe i lost them for a reason. (Is it possible to read too much into the reading into of things? Lordy.) Let 2015 be better. Please, please let it be better. It is already too much and it's not even February yet.