20 December, 2004

The File

...kind of hush all over the world tonight/ All over the world...

My prowly ways are mitigated yet again by houseguests, and I retire earlier than the dinnertime coffee recommends as wise. Silence wakes me, loud, strong, keeps me awake, listening for something to cut through its depth.

I can hear numbers changing on my digital clock. The red glowing 5:45 is a lie. I haven't changed it back an hour, indeed have forgotten when it was I should have done so.

Audible is a rhythmic thrum of generator, distant, near, or perhaps the surge of power through lines just outside my icy window. Rise, peek out, touching chill glass. No snow.

Often a fresh blanket of deep damp muffles what few sounds occur on a snowy night. No. The sky is clear, the ground brittle.

The city holds its breath.


I search for a cache of cards I remember owning, know I kept in THIS DRAWER, so I hunt, hopeful, fruitless, and find The File instead.

I it find buried... but carefully, tenderly, even, among things I no longer use. I had set up the desk, the drawer, thinking to use it for correspondence. My computer took over, then died. Of course, until I call upon My Hero to help retrieve things stored on the dead computer's hard drive, I can't get rid of it. The whole area becomes a wasteland, an abandoned washing machine on an empty lot in a dirty city.

I think of the book I am reading, how Kath appears where she wasn't supposed to appear, as he searches for something else.

I pull out The File, thumb through it. Stories I remember loving, in obsolete blue of the now-defunct mimeograph machine, one of them dedicated to me. Two old snapshots, greenish grey, the subject blurry and all but unrecognizable,(though inept with an F-stop, I attempted to prove a certain level of competance as a photographer- stil do, actually), dated 1982. A tiny typewritten note, signed.

I searched for The File early this summer, remember coming across it as I moved papers from one arena of my life- 'arena' here meaning 'room'- to another. I have far too many 'arenas,' and have yet to settle on a system of paper-keeping that satisfies me. I remember thinking as I touched The File, ach, I'll probably never need this, I ought to get rid of it. And so when I failed to find The File this summer, I thought I had perhaps disposed of it. Evidently, I did not, tucking it away instead, treasure to unearth when I searched for something else.

A quick scramble garners a few additions. I tuck them into The File, and replace it. I may one day decide to toss the whole thing, but honestly, I doubt it.

It will be left for the living to ponder.

(There's A Kind Of Hush; Herman's Hermits)

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