Have you ever had a notebook, that was a fine and welcoming place to fill with words? One that always fit flat in your suitcase? I was asked this question by an odd looking chap with a wooly dragon hat on and puzzled, pleasant face.
“He said my lucky purple notebook is used up and done”. “By chance do you have another one”? He introduced himself as a vagabond, Godfrey, through a tear in his suitcase stuck the hem of a tattered negligee’, faded now, though long ago was likely pink. There is a story in this chap, I began to think.
As he wandered my bookstore he told me,”there were beets in the last place I sought a new notebook, I will not go in that shop anymore”. My fine purple notebook made a pillow when I napped in the shade. In it was the recipe for Chicken Carcass Soup that a friend made. In my book I wrote the epic poems “That Is My Garlic” and the sad “He Gave All He Had, He Gave His Beets To Wally”
Of all notebooks over the years, this one was special to me. It once went missing on a bus, in a gritty Peruvian border town. Twas my Daring Clementine rummaged for it, in a nasty bus depot lost and found. It is bent, one edge of the cover is flat, where absentminded I left it too close to the railroad track. When a bandit snitched my suitcase, once again Clementine got it back.
This green notebook looks rugged, not likely it to easily tear or fade, but my Ma did not allow anything this color in the house. No pale green, she was absolute once a decision made.
This one here is ring-bound and may attract lightning when I sit outdoors writing with storms all around. Here is a notebook with cover of kittens in a basket and fluffy ball of wool, but a wee bit skint on pages, in a week or two I’d have it full.
My lucky purple notebook smells of chip fat, and onions I oft use it as a place mat. On every inch of that book is written poem, note or thought, I do not recall where but it’s the best notebook I have ever bought.
..It was a deep December, a dark, wet cold Monday, and the vagabond assured me that , “yes he had a warm place to stay”. “I have a room down by the harbor, with paintings bolted to the wall, an old V.C.R., and a red tiled Loo that I share down the hall. I found a table in the rubbish, dragged it in where I write and the view of the water out the window I enjoy most of all.
There is a lot going on down there each time I look, all I need to be happy is another lucky purple notebook. We sought, we searched, climbed a ladder in his kilt as I dragged out back stock. I even rang Miss Hortense Yuell my competition up the block.
Hortense had a notebook, not purple, it is a lavender hue, with unlined pages I will bring it over to you. As promised through the rain came Hortense- handed with dubious scrutiny of Godfrey the notebook.
On the cover was a picture of a couple holding hands, gazing in each others eyes, circled by a ring of golden light. Godfrey proclaimed delight even with the naughty cover, the lavender notebook felt just right.
…I never saw the vagabond after that day, but think fondly of his humor when I stock shelves and sweep up disarray. And in the evening I sit at my city window, look out toward the harbor to the park where oft the downtrodden go, it’s for Godfrey I look, happy writing in his lucky lavender note book.