Thursday, August 4, 2016

Uncovered During Some Digital Digging


Buried in one of the many old files that have been passed down from computer to computer over the last seven years I stumbled across a small word document containing the notes for a few story ideas that I jotted down back in 2009 while riding the train to work. There are a few interesting ideas and a number of options regarding the directions that these brief glimpses can go. What I find most interesting is I can remember each building, station, and person that I passed when these ideas came to mind. However, there are also many issues and a heck of a lot of polishing that needs to be done in each instance but thought I would share because it is interesting at times to consider the raw idea…

Her neck flexed and vanes protruded as the rope swung forward and back. A dripping lead pipe kept time in the echoes of the opposite corner. In the cool cavernous corner of the basement she pursed her lips for one more breath of musty air. Her body relaxed, she struggled to caress her lungs with one more pollen laden breeze.

She found the staccato of the braided hemp stuttering as it rubbed across the wooded floor support to be soothing. The light shaking reminded her of collecting tickets for the roller coaster at the amusement park on the boardwalk. At the end of the night, with the cool ocean air swollen with the stale smells of caramel corn and hot dogs, she would take the last ride.

She knew every turn, every drop. She sat in the same seat, front right, every night.

Pressing the start button, the hydraulics would hiss, and she would run to her seat. As the car began to climb the spiraled ascent she would pull the lap bar down, cross her legs, smile, and watch as Ocean City went to sleep.

As she neared the top the clicking crescendo echoed across the now empty park. Slowly, the car would tip forward and she would close her eyes and listen for the crashing waves.

The wind filled her lungs and caressed her face as she recalled every turn and dip, side to side, front to back, until the ride was over.

***

What is written by the hand is determined by the mind. The devious script of the foreseeing mind tells all. These hands shall harm no more than paper.

He studied the hand written letters line by line, word by word, letter by letter.

“See here. He Stopped. Like he was thinking. Like he didn’t know what came next.”

“Where? I don’t see it.”

“Right here.” He pressed his calloused finger to the middle of the first sentence. “Right there, as the d trails in the word hand there is a hesitation. The ink bleeds.”

“You’re right. As if he didn’t know what to say. That might explain why it is so cryptic.”

He brushed the note with the tips of his fingers mumbling something that, by his expression, seemed to be a circle of questions.

“What is it?”

“A man who takes so much pride in his writing, in his work, but no signature.”

“Why is that?”

“I don’t know yet.”

***

The elderly man stared out the lower deck window of the arriving New Jersey Transit train.

“I know that walk.”

The half asleep crowd paid no attention to the hunched over man with the long white beard.

“I know that walk!”

Not a single look glanced his way as he pressed his hands against the window trying to grasp the shoes walking past.

“I know that man!”

The train hissed to a quick stop, the doors slid open, and the determined herd hurriedly pressed toward the nearest escalator.

The old man waited for the crowd to pass, slowly pressed himself to his feet, and took slow, measured steps toward the grinding paddles of the moving stairs.

As his eyes passed the horizon of the Penn Station lobby floor he saw those same salt stained brown shoes that passed by his window.

He slowly lifted his head and as his eyes met those of the owner of the brown leather shoes his brow lifted.

Both men stood in silence. They were of similar age and height. The two old me slowed their breathing. Mist pouring from the other man’s clean shaven face while the warm breath rolled from under the old man’s white beard.

The other man strained to stand strait, wincing as he pulled his chest up. In a disbelieving raspy whisper the other man said, “I thought you were dead.”

The old man responded with deliberate words, “I’m surprised you didn’t kill me.”

There may be something to the ideas above… of course, there may not be anything at all. I guess I am going to have to give them some more thought and try to find any notes or outlines that may be scribbled somewhere else. After that, it will all come down to finding the motivation to pursue the stories, develop the characters, and let everything unfold before me without over thinking the process of progression. That has always been the hardest part for me.