Hey Noodle, let’s go on an adventure. My notebook is nearly full again. It’s tattered, worn, scribbled in and on, the corners are turned up, folded over, and the whole thing looks like it’s been soaked in coffee and done double duty as a cookie sheet. It’s time for a new one.
You know better than anyone that I’m a creature of habit, and surely you’ll end up one as well. Whether that turns out to be a blessing or a curse, we’ll settle up one day.
And as you know I tend to find what I like and stick with it, like shirts and bicycles and treks around the grocery store. But it’s not that way with notebooks. I change them like I change shoes; it’s a seasonal affair.
We’ll only take a trip to the bookstore, but we can still make it an adventure. It’ll be a treasure hunt. We’ll find one to suit me for the next few weeks, and finding it together, like everything else we do, will dress up our day and keep us feeling sharp.
It might seem silly how seriously I take the notebook, but I make writing my business. You don’t have a business right now, except maybe drawing chalk happy faces on the kitchen floor when I’m not looking. I guess somebody’s got to do it, right? It might have seemed that the perturbed was bubbling out of me when I saw that this morning, but to tell you the truth, it’s hard to contain my joy when you look at me with your cinnamon eyes and tell me “I just drew you.” You’ve sure got a knack for saying the right thing.
While you were playing at the bookstore and I was waiting on a coffee, I tried out the new notebook and wrote down a few notes to it, as if it were you:
We’re going to spend a lot of time together, and it’ll be my job to take care of you and make sure that even if you get a little banged up, you don’t get hurt beyond repair. This little notebook will know my closest thoughts, my secrets. We’ll be intimates. You’ll frustrate me from time to time when I look at your pages and you stare back blankly, waiting for me to impress myself on you when I really can’t think of anything worth jotting down. When I do read back the words I wrote into you, I’ll see not only what is in you, but what was in me. You will be me — a recording of me, a greatest hits I hope, though not every page is one I’ll be proud to show around. Of course, if it gets out, I’ll own it; I’ll own what I did, make the best of it, revise it like I meant it, and hope I don’t say it wrong yet again. After all, that’s my job.
Everything I say about the notebook is something that I say about you, little Noodle. And I don’t mean to raise the status of a spiral of paper to something as sublime as what we’ve got together. Neither do I mean to deflate you to something I scribble on for a while and only pay attention to the parts that appeal to my unpredictable whims. No, all I mean to say is this simple thing: On the day that your momma and I vowed to stick with each other no matter what, I learned that when I tell you I love you, I mean that I see you in everything. Even just a silly little notebook.