Hundreds of bits of cottonwood fluff floated in the late day sun, suspended and protected from the flow of traffic beneath the bridge. Utterly serene. A perfect afternoon for a jog on the Oak Leaf Trail.
While plodding along, pink and sweaty, I found treasure: a soggy open field note book.
Without breaking pace, I scooped it up and continued down the path. A little rush of panic bloomed at the thought of losing my own journal and then my thoughts scuttled to remembering its exact location.
What if it's a list of people to kill?
Or the beginnings of a novel?
Last Will and Testament?
Or the Kobainesque confessions of a mad genius living with a brutal disease?
I decided not to open it until I was in the privacy of my home, just in case there was something truly odious inside.
I opened the cover, disappointed to see that the author hadn't scribbled their name in the line provided beneath the words "In the Event Of Misplacement Contact:".
It was mine now. This is lawless frontier.
Inside were scribbled lists of comic book titles, three sentence synopses of stories, area-code-less phone numbers with no indication of who they belonged to, and anxious contours of the same panda again and again...
"90% of Bands never make it. the other 10% also never make it."
Written at a 45 degree angle, melting off the page.
"I admit it, not a week goes by when I don't think about buying a skateboard. Now, I have insurance. But no insurance will make up for brushing your teeth."
This was my favorite drawing:
It was between this drawing and a doodle of a dinosaur with a mustache, but it's drawn in blue ink.
And blue ink is wrong.
Perusing the choppy lists of movie titles, books and authors, I looked them up one by one. While imagining owner and investigating their love of dark science fiction and the psychedelic, there was a twinge of shame in exposing them this way. But the excitement of a secret squashed it quickly and I went on snuffling about in their transom.
And then: nothing. Pages of static.
Until the very last page, the author gifts us a knock-knock joke ending.
A fudge recipe.
A fudge recipe that I will make in honor of the Owner.
Wishing you a Sweet and Scandalous weekend,