• Vol. 02
  • Chapter 11

Note Book Mark


It is definitely my notebook. I recognise my own writing, I think, perhaps a little neater than usual, a little more deliberate.
I think I even remember the book itself, a vague deep recollection that comes to me when I close my eyes and concentrate on the texture. The reassurance of the thick cover, the creak of the spine. I even get a faint hint of the smell of the paper, which I know for a fact is all in my mind, because my sense of smell doesn't exist any more.
Probably about a hundred blank pages and only seven of them filled. Tucked between these words I must have written, but have never seen before, is a postcard.


Someone took a photograph. They took the trouble to take a photograph and then they took the trouble to have it printed. They paid for this process, this processing. They bothered. I wonder how many they had made, and then I wonder how many they posted. The corners of this one are worn, the pigments and fibres cast to the floors of decades of rooms.
I turn it over in my hands and the reverse is also covered in my words. I wish more than anything that I could understand what these words say, what the formation of these letters once meant to me. But the longer I look the more my eyes make my head hurt and I slip it back into the book.
I have to stare at one of the blank pages and let my eyes travel along the empty ruled lines until the pain starts to recede. These ever reliable lines of progress across the printed page. Blank pages that aren't really blank at all.


Note Book Mark


When she comes next she takes the notebook away. She tries very hard to hide her disappointment, but I can see it nonetheless. I recognise the look. I can remember the clenched jaw, the fixed stare, the way her mouth forms the tiniest of forced smiles. I've disappointed her before, I'd guess many times. And that is something. It is a thing that I have remembered.