Wednesday, January 6, 2010

two sentences

I was doing laundry last night, down in the basement of the building, and my brain was churning up little bits of writing. The opening two sentences of a piece came to me as I was transferring wet clothes from washing machine to dryer. Doing that thing where you flap out each individual shirt to uncrinkle before you toss it in. You can't rush the drying. And you can't leave your wet clothes there and run upstairs to your apartment to write a note. Or you could but that's three floors up, and if you leave your post maybe someone will materialize in the laundry room to take your spot and remove your clothes to dry their tennis shoes.

I started going through my pockets. In the inside pocket of my jacket: a pen. Huzzah! In the other inside pocket: nothing.

Pocket of my jeans, nothing.

Pocket of my jeans, nothing.

I started looking at the dryer sheets.

As a last resort, I pulled the lid off of the metal trashcan down there for collecting the bunched up fuzz from the dryer lint traps. Figured all I'd see in there was fuzz and old used dryer sheets, but what I saw, nearly clean on top, was a big piece of crumpled up white paper with a child's crayoning all over it.

Red and yellow.

The child must have been quite young because there was nothing discernible in the drawing. Just lines of color curling all across the paper. And no name.

I wanted to but I didn't want to. It was perfect and clean and there for the taking, but to tear a piece off of a child's drawing seemed like such an intrusion. But it was just going to be tossed. But tossed and torn are two different things.

In the end, my two sentences won out. Felt bad in the doing but now I have my notes. Jotted down on the back of a scrap torn from the drawing of a child I don't know.


  1. I can often be seen on the street dictating such things into my phones tiny memo function, hoping I can get it in the allotted time.

  2. with as much as you accomplish, you must be doing this all the time!