Friday, October 06, 2006

One Silent Cry

Years ago I wrote a short story entitled "One Silent Cry" about a friend of mine who committed suicide when I was a junior in high school. I was an aspiring writer at that time of writing ""One Silent Cry"and I considered it to be the best work had done up to that point in my life and quite possibly the best work I would ever do. The emotions were raw as was the scathing commentary on our society.

I had always believed "One Silent Cry" would be published, just not at the time I wrote it. It was meant for a different time and I wanted to polish the final draft. Even as an egotisical college student I understood I had written it with a youthful exuberance and for it to be truly great I needed to edit it when I was older. Usually when I write something I want the whole world to read it immediately, but this story was different. I promised myself it needed to be completed by the time I was 40 years old and then I filed it away; revisiting it a few times over the years to add and delete portions.

Then life happened.

I met and fell in love with the girl I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. We got married, had three kids, and started our own small business. The years have fallen away so quickly my personal promise to myself concerning "One Silent Cry" would quickly run out of time if I didn't start writing on it again. So, with my marriage extremely strong, the kids doing very well and the business finally starting to stabilize and make money I felt now was the time to finish "One Silent Cry."

Then a strange thing happened.

I can't find my manuscript. I had kept it in a Burgundy file with all my other writings from my college years. As an interesting side note, that binder also contained fake album covers for joke bands that my good friend Daren and I made during our teen years while living in Houston. The Pink Elephant's That Sniff Cocaine and their opus "It Takes Two To Tango, But Only One To Break Dance"...good times, damn good times. As I have told Daren before, we had the classic childhood experience and I kept those papers as a tribute to the good times we shared. It felt good to look at them from time to time and relive the old days.

However, I am still good friends with Daren so while things like The Pink Elephants albums are important to me that folder existed to hold "One Silent Cry." I had outlines for further story progressions, additional characters, a better ending, and of course my original draft. It also held a poem entitled "Via Satellite" by Jonathan Yeager my friend who committed suicide. I had always planned to break apart the poem and use it as a way to divide "One Silent Cry" into sections; a final tribute to Jon if you will.

I wrote the story about two years following Jon's death and on the eve of entering college to pursue a career in journalism and English. Jon sat next to me in my 11th grade creative writing class. He was years beyond the rest of us in the class and for some reason he latched on to me. Jon and I ran the class. He wrote dark, slice of life stuff and I wrote the more positive stuff, however without fail we always achieved the highest grades. We started hanging out together and my writings started to be more emotional and less an exercise in linguistics. As Jon mostly wrote poetry and I stayed in the realm of short stories, what happened to my development was a morphing of the two styles. I tried very hard to make my stories flow from one line to next, both in content and style. Gone was the lifeless prose and its' place was living expression of myself. Without ever knowing Jon, I am fairly sure this never would have happened.

Then Jon painted the interior of a 66' mustang with his own blood.

So, here I am sitting at the computer writing a blog post instead of finishing something I believe would have been truly special. I never treated the manuscript with the respect I probably should have. I always had a fairly descent idea where the folder was and there was comfort in knowing it was in the house. Now that it appears lost or buried in some unmarked box and lost in the confusion of our last move. I find myself with a severe case of remorse,while at the same time turing the house upside down.

I was way too careless. I know it sounds like I am over selling it, but I really believed it was going to be my "Catcher In The Rye." I could rewrite it, but...

Damn it.

Opportunity lost by being too fucking careless.


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