two black notebooks

back to school time at walmart i bought 2 blank cheapo notebooks, black, for 15 cents apiece while wailing “no wonder there are no trees!! paper is so CHEAP!!” and a package of good black pens, with no particular motive in mind, only knowing that clean notebooks and blank paper are amazing things to have and touch, and even better once they’ve been bled all over with nice slippery rollerball ink.

over the last few days, adam and i have been working together.

 in the front of MY black notebook i’ve sketched character thumbnails, chapter overviews, questions to myself, and at the back i’ve begun feedback notes. eventually this will meet in the middle in a huge and frustrating crash, and i will be forced to spend possibly a quarter for another notebook.

in the front of ADAM’S black notebook are pretend letters. he sits very carefully at his desk with a tupperware tray containing an assortment of his selected favorite markers, crayons and ink pens, and works. some of it is lettering, he tells me what it says, then he turns the page and draws powerpuff girls, and lakes, and dinosaurs, and mommy and daddy and heather. his pages are beautiful and colorful, while mine are SO monochrome.

but we do so enjoy working together.

it’s nice to be writing again. it’s nice to be working with beth again. it’s nice to attempt organization. it’s nice to read and discuss. simple thing, to talk about the thing you love, but i don’t know how often any of us do it. talk about it, or actually do the thing itself. i am shedding my sheepishness like an ill-fitting, itchy snakeskin – i’m tired of shrugging or mumbling about photography when people ask what i DO.  i fucking WRITE, damnnit. i’m memorizing everything you say and the way your hair is two different shades and looking at you in the eyes, because someday i will remember the names of those two colors and they could be useful. i will think long and hard about why you broke eye contact if you did, and that might also be useful.

i’ve been doing this since before they began to teach cursive writing in grade school, and though i never stuck with the cursive, i stuck with this – secretly,shamefully, furtively, squirreling away my notebooks and drafts and scraps of paper and printed pages as though it were my kit. i hid my notebooks as well as i hid bowls, papers, cellophanes, screens….

i will force eric into a kitchen chair, strap him to it with that roll of pink duct tape, and make him scroll with his nose until he’s caught up. the walls are coming down on our false language barrier, little by little our actual vocabularies are creeping in as opposed to our everyday everyone else vocabularies.

i have one week to make my sister read all this. maybe she will stumble across this and know that i plan to assault her with thousands of words….

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