Stark white pages abound! In desks, in printer trays, nary a single word to mark them. Each is lifted, stared at, then returned to their place. A single typewriter sits upon the desk, a page slipped in and marginalized. But not a single drop of ink stains the page it holds.
An old man shifts through the various stacks of papers. He sighs, massaging his head with one hand as he looks at each page. He cannot organize them. Then finally, a single dusty sheet is pulled out of the mass of stacks, the first and only page with so much as a letter typed onto it. He stares at it for a time, then sets it beside the typewriter. His thoughts linger on the page as he removes the blank sheet from the typewriter, then slips his treasure within. He turns the knob on the side and returns to his chair.
He stares at each line, few as they are, before he begins to type away. He sneezes as dust is stirred from within the old keyboard, but continues to add words to the only page that isn’t blank in his whole office. He types away, and then when he is satisfied, he begins to read.
My name is Barnabus McGregor. I’m nearing the end of my life, I know, and here is my what I remember of my life.
I have lived and loved, had a family who have come and some who have gone. But names and faces fail me now. Have I eaten today? What am I even typing.
He continues to stare at those simple sentences. He feels, deep down, a sense of pride that he had finally typed, and closes his eyes. A few hours later, a knock could be heard at the door. When the call was unanswered, the door came open, and a young child, nearing the age of ten, stepped into the room. Her expression a mix of worry and wonder, for she never before had entered the room. She woke her great grandfather up from his dreamless sleep, and tell him it is time for supper.
He stands, and slowly shuffles out of the room. But she lingered, and her eyes caught sight of that single page that still hung in the typewriter. She made a mental note to return to the room once supper was done and set out.
When she returned, late in the dusk of night, holding a single flashlight in her hands, she began to give the room a further look. Each page she picked up was filled with story after story. She organized it as she went, his youth in one pile, his adult life in another. She learned of family long past, of distant relatives and even more. His life must have been amazing, she thought, as she continued to read well into the early hours of morning. Then she returned to the typewriter.
She pulled the one sheet from it, setting it aside and placing the only blank sheet left out of the whole office in its place. She typed a couple sentences in, hit return, and read it aloud to herself.
This is the story of my great grandfather, in his own words. I just worry that he has lost so much of his mind that he is unable to see the stacks upon stacks of pages filled with his story around him once he steps foot in his office.
I love you, great grandfather.
Alisha Dorothy McGregor.
(Image Source Pinterest)