Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Things That Stick

It’s funny - the things that stick with you. The other day I was reminiscing with some friends about games we used to play when we were kids. We started talking about it because of some Facebook post about manhunt and freeze tag. We’d all played the same games, even though we grew up in different places. The general consensus was that we look back on those as great times.

It got me to thinking a lot about childhood friends, one in particular. I’ll call her Penny. I hadn’t thought about her in a long time, as our paths haven’t crossed in years. But, because I was nostalgic, and because of where I’m at in life right now, a memory surfaced that I didn’t even know was there.
I guess we had to be in junior high school (aka middle school to most people outside of the 5 NYC boroughs). I was making my first attempt at a full length “book”. I remember the actual book I was writing in so clearly. It was a black and white composition notebook with doodles all over the cover. The writing inside was bubbly tween-girl handwriting, nothing like the chicken scratch, script-print combo I have now.
The story was about twin sisters – one good, one bad, of course. I can’t say I remember any details about what I’m sure was a very deep plot ;). Except for the fact that, since they were twins, there was naturally some kind of swapping-places thing going on. But what I do remember is this. At first I didn’t show it to anyone, because I was too nervous. But Penny knew what I was doing and asked to see it. Since she was my best friend, and what 12 year old girl can refuse her best friend, I reluctantly let her look at what I’d written so far.
She devoured it. Not only that, she told me she couldn’t wait for the next chapter, and asked if I would sit down and write it at that moment, instead of continuing the game we were playing. This went on for weeks that summer. I’d write a few pages, Penny would read them as soon as the words were on the page and enthusiastically ask for more.
To this day, I have no idea if Penny really enjoyed what I’d written as much as she said she did, or if it was terrible and she was just being a great, supportive friend. Either way, I can still remember how much she inspired me. I started writing because I loved it, but I kept writing because of her.
The topic of inspiration comes up a lot. And normally, I’m guess I’m short-sighted. I think about the things that inspire me now. Maybe, in fact, I should be thinking about the things that inspired me way back when.
I don’t think I ever ended up finishing that story. Summer ended and I probably moved on to the next thing, whatever that was. But I’ve kept most of the notebooks I used to write in and I bet if I dig around in my basement, I can find it. Maybe one day I’ll look for it. And maybe one day I’ll have an ending to Penny’s story.

No comments:

Post a Comment