Prose and poem writing fragment: Déjà Vu

Déjà Vu

Paul kept a thick, detailed, minute, daily diary. And it took him what seemed to be almost as much time to write down all the things that took place in his life that day onto the gild-edged onion-skin pages as it did for the things to actually take place.

He wrote down every single thing he could recollect, so that when he “got old” he could “relive” every single thing and enjoy it again just as much as when the things were taking place.

All these things were written down with an extra-fine-nib pen which enabled him to make his writing very small and get the things that happened each day into the space allowed, which was two pages for each day, Monday to Friday, and one page each for Saturday and Sunday.

Sadly, Paul died one night
while making what
obviously turned out
to be his last entry; which
meant, of course, that
he never got to read
his diary, and that remained
a sore point with him
when he got to Heaven.

In Heaven, Paul found that it was divided into consecutive compartments. The purpose of the first compartment was to provide an opportunity to reflect on one’s life and assess it.

Paul was told this compartment was divided in turn into two living quarters and that he would have to decide which one he wanted to spend his time in. Each of the living quarters contained memory banks to enable and facilitate recollection and subsequently assessment.

The choices:

(a) The section of detailed, real-time recollection

(b) The section of generalized, compressed time recollection

Paul chose (a)

And so, Paul watches in detail the recalled events of a typical day. And then he sees himself take the fine-nib pen from his pencil case and then open the thick diary, ruling-in the left and right hand margins and then begin to weigh each word carefully so the writing will be perfectly justified left and right, with no ragged right or left lines, and no hyphenation.

Paul’s hand moves left to right and back again, and left to right and back again, and, oh, there’s a word he has to change so he reaches for his ink eraser, but rubs the word so hard he makes a hole in the paper, which he then has to patch very carefully, from behind, with matching ruled paper and Magic Mending Tape.

And then he writes the correct word on the neatly patched paper and he thinks it was a good thing he could patch it because that was an important part, and so far he was only at noon of the day he was describing and already he was past the allotted half way point and onto the second page, and so he had to start compressing things that took place after noon so he could include everything, and also it was getting late which meant that he had spent too much time describing the stuff up until noon, so he would have to make it even more brief and to the point and may have to leave out some of the adjectives, adverbs and other “descriptive passages” and concentrate on the bare bones of the day’s events and he would also have to.

— Dennis Mellersh

About Dennis Mellersh

Dennis Mellersh is an independent writer, journalist, editor, and editorial consultant.
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