Ghosts of Creation

Having just lost what feels like a very profound thought, he stares at the endless white of the Page, beckoning for the stroke of a pen that might bring it to life. The white runs deep into his canvas; as deep as nothing should rightly run. A void where no stories are told and memories have yet to happen, surely an unbearable torture for this poor Page, who wants only to be filled. Just one good scribble, a doodle, a grocery list, a poem will do. A little fulfillment isn’t much for a lonely Page to ask for, a chance to matter before the familiar crunch and toss that have bested stronger pages than this one. And yet, the Page waits, surprisingly steadfast, despite the derelict frame of a man who paces across its view.

The Page may sometimes look on at the neurotic author…just on occasion. They have never met before, never known the sweet embrace of the author’s mind, blending with ink, and dancing across the Page’s surface. So the author paces incessantly. He smokes, he scratches his ass, and he paces more; chasing his thoughts as if they were burning from the tip of his cigarette, gone forever with fingers grasping at the wisps of a memory, and never once lifting the pen to the Page. If only his memory could serve them, this madness would end. The author would have his thought; the Page would have his scribble, the inevitable crunch would loom, and the Page would accept this. To be discarded is natural, a part of all things, and the Page accepts this too.

Yet the author refuses to take up the pen. The Page watches as his pacing becomes more and more hurried. The author becomes distraught as the memory slips further away. He falls to his knees and looks to the Page in despair, as if the answer might somehow lie in the blank spiral-bound paper.

He speaks to it. He begins pleading to it, begging forgiveness for his neglect, the selfishness and self-doubt that crunched and crackled countless pages before this one. In the midst of his self-pity, he turns to the Page again, but now he stops, transfixed as his gaze penetrates the Endless White with wonder and intrigue.  He pauses just a moment before rushing to his pen. The Page sees this, and prepares for a long awaited finale.  At last the Page will have its scribble; then shall it be judged, and subsequently discarded. But most of all, it will have mattered. And to matter….

…Oh, what it would mean to matter.

But as the Page faithfully awaits destiny, the doubt begins, creeping into the spiral binding and onto the Endless White, spilling into the void and filling the Page with fear. A lifetime of waiting only to be discarded…

The Page begins to wonder…

When the author returns, the Page stares stoically into his eyes, ready for the manic flow of thoughts and the scarring jabs of his pen. The Page knows the author will not mourn its demise, no more than the rest. But as the author steps forward, calm falls over them both. The Page does not recognize the eyes of this man.  The author looks to his Page as a Lover looks upon their Other. And as he gazes deeply into the Page, into the Endless White, he knows where fleeting thoughts reside, hidden, and waiting to be rediscovered. Though the author wrote nothing, the Page now brims with life, holding the author’s Loss, the abandoned thoughts in their infinite possibility, just beyond the surface of the Endless White.

So the author rips the Page from its spiral prison, and folds it into a perfect miniature triangle. He pulls his favorite brown BIC from his jacket pocket and holds the flame just below the tip of the triangle. The Page burns soft and evenly, its glow warming the author’s palms.  He removes a cigarette from his pack, carefully holds it to the Page’s fire, and between every drag, he watches the ghosts of his creations wisp off the ends of his fingertips.

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