It wasn’t very special.
At least not on the surface.
Just a plain manila folder.
But inside that boring old folder were scraps of paper.
On those scraps of paper – every poem, story, deep thought and dark secret my teenage life spurred from 15 to 19.
Even throughout the most turbulent times in my life like when I was living out of my car, that folder stayed with me.
It was my best friend. The only thing that ever understood me. The only thing that knew all about me. The only thing I could tell everything to and it would stay by my side. Without judging, without laughing. It gave no response at all. Just stayed with me.
It held the story I wrote about my brother dying – a story I’ve yet to re-write because I just don’t want to live through it again.
It held poems that to this day I still consider ‘good’ – but can only remember portions of.
It held lots of poems that would probably embarrass me now, but told the story of my life none-the-less.
It held a letter to a baby I never met.
It held deep, twisted reflections of the depression I suffered many of those years.
It held ME.
And it was always with me.
Until one day, I noticed it was gone.
I had been staying at The Man’s trailer – split-shift babysitting with Scari while he worked. That had to be the last place I had it. Yes! I had let The Man read my story about Tommy. I know that’s where I left it.
It’s probably obvious where that folder went. They probably read all my scraps while laughing, teasing, joking and judging. Yes, probably.
It’s not so much the fact that I lost everything I’d ever written. That hurt. I can’t lie – even for the sake of my pride – it hurt. But the part that hurt the most is that I didn’t write again for years. The one inanimate object I’d chosen to be my eternal friend had left me. I couldn’t even trust a fucking folder. So instead, I kept my feelings inside me. Something I’d been taught long ago – with the exception of using writing as an escape. (My mother is an excellent writer.) But I no longer had that escape. Those thoughts, feelings, reflections – all stayed in my heart.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that folder lately. A LOT. I’ve been wishing it would magically show up and my undeserved writer’s block would be dissolved. Wishing I’d have a reason to believe that I could pour my heart onto paper and allow only those I wish to see it.
But that won’t happen. I’m sure it is destroyed. I’m sure it was fun for them.
I hope someday karma repays them. Shows them what it feels like to have your head and your heart ripped open for all to see – for all to judge – for all to laugh at. I hope then they will understand what their actions meant.