If this was paper the window glass would be rippled, and a waded pile of my mistakes would court the floor.
My ink flask would be nearly empty enough that my quill wouldn't reach, and the candle wick would wait patiently to be lit, as night is drawing fast.
I would push my wood chair back across the wood floor and would walk to the stone hearth.
The fire is dying, I kneel to kindle it, realizing now I'm distanced from the futility of writing that my fingers are stiff and still as boards. I flex them near the fire, shifting my rear to the floor, and forget all but warmth and soft smoke.
If I slept for twenty years would I remember any sorrow? Would the pile of mistakes still lump around?
I look in the corner, where the faded sun still lights on the desk, one final, timid paper peering back.
Would they matter, these crumpled notes of one line or less, would they make all the difference in twenty years?
I suddenly am impressed that in this instant I'm alone enough to have slept for twenty years. I'm as solitary as Rip upon awaking in the woods.
Why did he leave the mountain? Why did he force himself to find existence, to learn his wife was dead, to be heralded by the town?
I come to my feet and pace to the stairway, the room mirroring the place I imagined the black orphan servant girl to labor.
I wish I could go to the elementary school and scan the books until I've come across every novel I ever read in my years imprisoned there. I wish I could find the covers I've never forgotten and refresh the crafted titles.
This isn't paper,the glass isn't rippled,and my mistakes are erased as easily as the wind.
But I still court the lack of ability to write a narrative, a poem, a sentence or two, without sighing and backing it away.
I think I could write better in a solitary cabin, the sun dropping from my rippled window's sight. I'd have to learn better penmanship for the ink to prove well, but the fire would keep my eyes right.
I would write better if I'd slept for twenty years, alone and untethered and free. I'd have trees to walk through and snow to observe. I could live for twenty years with writing.
But I wake up each day in the same place, no mystery men with whom to bowl. I'll never be enchanted or abandoned enough to find solace in more than my mind. Literally, Rip van Winkle is pathetic proposition.
Mentally, I'm sleeping for twenty years now.