I was putting the last sentence on a story about seeing a journal full of observations and stories being shredded in rush hour traffic in the rain. This was a true occurrence and, as a young writer, I had just been struck by a taxi and tumbled over the hood, bounced off the windshield, and landed on my backpack, in the intersection. My backpack had saved me from landing on my head, but split open. my journal was in it. I had lurched to the curb and collapsed, not realizing I was trailing a split journal and some clothes into the road, and when the light turned green, cars surged into the intersection and ran over my journal repeatedly, destroying it, scattering the pages. I decided to write a story about all the times I’d gone over the hood of a car – about a dozen – an ode to windshield sailing. While adding the last sentence, feeling emotion welling up to spill from me, I accidentally erased all the text, and bungled the recovery.
I lost a story about losing stories. Seven more pages, three more hours that stupid journal took from me again. Curses! Every time I write about losing all those stories, I lose the story. It took me years to even mention the haphazard way I lost all that material. The pain lingers. I’ll try again tomorrow. I mean, really, have you ever felt yourself going through something like that? I wrote about it last year, but lost the journal in which I wrote the new draft. I’ll try again tomorrow. This is nuts.