I like to think of my paper, my notebook sheets, as having texture. I want the lines to stick like staples punched through to the other side. Their long, skinny forms, plucked up from the page in an effort to rise above. I want the page to feel rough and gritty. Hard and torn through in spaces just empty enough to fill with small rips of imperfection. Lines like ridges would guide my pen in a steady cadence. Trotting through a white desert, my landscape would guide me in the right direction.
Instead my page is one long ice rink. Its smoothness leaves no gaps big enough to see through. The torn spots and crinkled edges are invisible. My paper has flat lined.
My instant reaction is to pump it back to life. Electricity in the shape of a fat black marker needs to run down the center. Cutting up sections of white plains with inked out projections. Just so there’s something. Just so there is a pattern that is slightly out of shape.
I will not get a rise from my paper. Instead, I will continue to run my fingernail across the surface. I wait for the bite of a smooth edge sharpened.
Their laughter once darted in and out of spaces just big enough to get syllables stuck. Words like ‘pre-teen’ and ‘puberty’ barely made it through. Glitter framed snap shots of pig tails and thick gums were slowly surrendered to a box under the bed. Their smiles were embarrassing secrets. Mouths that moved over smooth lined sentences clashed with childhood lisps. They were suddenly clamped shut, shuffled into a straight line. Their laughter is no longer the same.