Once upon a time… a long, long time ago (like back in 1995) … in a typewriter in my parents’ basement, I found a piece of paper with intriguing words on it. I’ve always assumed my creative older brother put them there. I picture him walking through the room, stopping at the typewriter in a bored moment and just typing out the words that came to him first. (Maybe he’ll tell me if I’m wrong…)

Then along came the little sister who was fascinated with the words and claimed them as her own property (or at least the paper that contained them.)

I kept that piece of paper with all of my other scraps of poetry and pulled it out occasionally over the years – because I liked it. And then I lost it. Lonely little lines pop into my head sometimes, and I can’t remember the rest of it. Several times, I’ve searched through my poetry notebook…. journals…. any other kind of notebook or odd place where I might have misplaced a piece of paper. And then yesterday, Avery (my favorite delivery girl, as she puts it) came along with her backpack full of special packages. (One of her favorite games while the others are at school.) This time she brought me one of my old journals, and when I flipped through it, I found that I had written out the words from the typewriter.

the cellar was lonely without you.
outside looked like much more fun.
imagine my surprise after sneaking out.
to find you playing hide-and-seek with her.
instead of going for help like you promised.

And then there’s:

in the air, i sense a sadness. it happens to even the best of men. when all is said, and everything seems over, you’ll find you know yourself a little better than before. this knowing, still, is not

Does “THE END” finish the final sentence? Or is there an invisible period after the word “not”? I’ve wondered that for 14 years without really wanting to know the answer.

It’s funny to me to try to see it from his perspective. How could he have known that something he wrote and left behind could become a part of my life? Since 1995, the words “the cellar was lonely without you” and “this knowing, still, is not THE END” have stuck in my mind.


About ruthie.voth

Wife of one, mother of four, friend of many. Lover of details, color, good conversations, finding balance, and being honest. Passionate lover of a well-crafted sentence - even more so if it's witty. Weird blend of cynical optimist. I'm the worst kind of woman. I'm high maintenance, but I think I'm low maintenance. Somehow, people still love me. Must be grace.
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One Response to Irrevocable.

  1. Jonathan Hunsberger says:

    Hmmm… i can’t say i recognize the actual words, but that does sound like something i might have written around 1995. Or something i might have written on my aCuriousBird Xanga site a year or so ago for that matter…

    If i wrote it, i can tell you for certain the answer to your question… if you want to know.


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