Yesterday, I beat up my poor husband for taking something out of the car. Needless to say, the pummeling wasn’t well received.  Reception was even worse when I found I’d actually been the one who’d removed the object, a fat spiral ring notebook. The notebook had writings that had to be Xeroxed or entered into various documents on the computer. I’d forgotten to return it to the car, where it resides.

I have 5 of these notebooks, several in my office, one in the car, always one on my bedside table. Each book is optimistically labeled so everything will go into exactly the right place.

The one in the car is especially important because no matter where I go – doctor’s office, impromptu solo lunch, waiting to meet someone — I can pull it out of my purse and immediately be transported into my current manuscript or something else important.

Volume #3 is “Books.” I’m very proud of this one. Each of my novels has its own section. It’s a gem of organization.

There’s book #4,  designated “Computer, etc.” I just looked through it and could find only 2 pages dedicated to computers. But there’s lots of etc. A long list of people with some names checked off, for example.  I have no idea why I made this list. It could have been for a party but I doubt it.  So, it sits there, a mystery, one I’m reluctant to get rid of in case I eventually remember what it’s for, and it becomes indispensable. There’s also a note that says “Football Game. 8:00 p.m.!” As a diehard Redskins fan, I leave these little notes all over the house so it doesn’t surprise me to see one here. The rest of the book seems to be marketing advice from self to self.  Self #2 has all but ignored the recommendations of Self #1.

Then there’s the shipwreck, Book #1. It’s title is (deep breath): Car, blog, Passwords, Coffee, Tower, Scrivener, ESCAPE, Dell, and Miscellaneous.” Dell is particularly important. You see, my Dell computer has been giving me electrical shocks since I received it in January and I’m contemplating a $500 million lawsuit against the company. Give or take a few hundred million. Since January, I’ve had pieces of rubber glued around the touchpad so that my skin doesn’t go zzzst and I don’t have to wear rubber flip-flops every time I’m on the computer.  I will receive a new machine – uh huh — but it’s taken 35 pages in my little books to document the struggle. And it ain’t over.

ESCAPE refers to my current work-in-progess. It should be in my “Books,” book but ideas for it tend to erupt at all hours and in all places, which explains why it pops up elsewhere.

Then there’s a mostly empty #2 notebook with the grand title of “Cell Tower, Animales, Internet Resources, Website, ESCAPE, Blogs, etc.” The cell tower refers to a monstrosity my next door neighbor is trying to erect, Animales is our local Friends of Animals, and ESCAPE you already know about. Blog refers to the one you’re reading now and my other blog, http://www.dontshootthewriter.com

It all sounds very important but, unfortunately, this book seems to contain almost nothing about any of the topics above.

Last, and apparently least, is Book #5. I say least because it’s gone missing. This should be distressing but it’s not, because I have no memory whatsoever of its contents.  It could hold an improved version of the Gettysburg address, a schematic for a new Rubik’s cube, a cure for cancer. Alas, it has escaped my system and will probably never be seen again.

I will write about this loss, I think, in a new book, #6, pure and pristine.  I will say goodbye to an old friend, one I must have had, one I don’t wish to forget on pain of forgetting other ones.

I will name this book “Farewells.”

It will probably contain recipes for meat loaf.

~~Jane Vasarhelyi

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