On our way to the movies the other night, my daughter's friend said, "What does this do?" Strapped in behind me, I heard her take a breath and hold it as she cranked the handle. Exhaled in disbelief as the window separating her from the elements sunk into its slot. "And what about this?" Pushing the button from black to red, she discovered the origins of the lock. As if on an archeologial dig, the two of them began to search for evidence of other ancient forms of life. Might there be a $2 bill tucked into the crack of the seat? A hand written note folded into the shape of a football? And what about those blocks like giant Rubik's Cubes Vanna had to twist to solve a puzzle? I picture a landfill full of consonants. And those uppity vowels - so dear they came at a price - forced to rub shoulders with duds like X and Z for the next thousand or so years. Or instead of a landfill, maybe they were shipped to an inferior game show. One whose state-of-the-art studio got bulldozed by a runaway grocery truck. Though boxy and too tangible to be an app, their insurance company explained these letters were the best anyone could expect on such short notice.
I've been a hold-out for many years now. I admit it. I haven't joined Facebook or followed a single soul on Twitter. And until now, I've been thinking that Vanna must be so despondent. A person needs to feel productive - useful - and without needing to turn the letters, all she can do is smile and wave. Smile and wave and grimace when Pat Sajak crosses the stage to stand next to her. But driving this optionless tin can of a car, complete with string should anyone at home need to reach me through the creamed corn, I'm forced to reevaluate my position. Maybe Vanna has preempted Carpal Tunnel and in letting go of the letters, freed her mind to concentrate on more important things. Afterall, manual windows and locks were the norm when I was a kid but so was Asbestos.
And maybe if we join together, we can create something real out of this void. This week I will post the beginning of a story. A few lines to get things started. I invite you to keep it going. Share what you have written and I'll do the same.