Yo! Down here! Further down. By your foot. In fact you’re practically stepping on top of me. Yes, that’s me. I’m that piece of paper.
What am I doing on the floor? Just lying around observing people’s feet. Actually I was dropped – accidentally I’d like to think. At least I assumed it was by accident. But these days, it’s hard to tell. One moment I’m minding my own business, full of purpose, clean as the day I was born, all ready to be written upon, and the next, I’m on the floor.
Naturally I assumed I would be picked up, brushed off, and put to good use. But I wasn’t. I was simply – abandoned. How humiliating! To make matters worse, people enter the room and kick me while I’m down. They step all over me, smudge me, crease me, and tear bits and pieces right off of me as if I don’t have any feelings.
What did I do to deserve being treated like this? What did I ever do to you?
Oh, sure, you’re thinking I’m just a piece of paper, lower than a snail, slow too compared to that upstart e-mail.
How soon we forget.
Before Internet, I was always there for you. I laid myself bare in your hands – not always clean hands at that. Did I ever complain? I let you write all over me with your quills, pencils, pens, markers, crayons, and god knows what else. We shared happy and sad times together, like the time you wrote to your best friend to say that you were sorry for taking your friendship for granted.
I know what that feels like.
People have taken me for granted for years. They chop me down as part of a tree, drag me to the mill, send me off to the paper factory, and voila, here I am, only to be crumpled into a ball by some Michael Jordan wannabe and thrown haphazardly into the trash, missing the mark half the time. Oh sure, you may get me on the rebound, but more often than not I’m left to lie around until the cleaning lady comes.
Then there are those times I’m casually dropped and left on the floor for hours, even days, getting as filthy as the floor.
No one bothers. No one cares.
At the very least you could pick me up and put me out of my misery by placing me into the trash bin. Better still, send me to the recycling center so I can have a fresh start.
Ah, if only I could start all over again I would gladly fall into the hands of a five year old, someone who can appreciate my full potential by seeing endless possibilities. I can be folded into an airplane, made into a boat, or a hat, or cut into circles and squares or a string of dolls. I can be drawn on, written all over, or I can become a canvas for colorful crayoned creations. I can even be splashed with wonderful watercolors!
For teenagers I can become your first poem or even a love letter – the beginning of something magical with the whole world before you. For adults I can be as serious as an essay or a narrative or a short story, or even the first page of an award-winning novel filled with beauty, love, truth, and honesty – OK some sex, too. I can also be a letter to a long lost e-mail-less friend, or a cartoon that will make your friends laugh. I can be whatever you want me to be, limited only by your own imagination. Just pick me up, brush me off, straighten me out, and use me. I don’t mind. That’s what I’m here for.
--Borneo Expat Writer
***Here the link to my website, to MPH online for orders for all three of my books, including my latest, Spirit of Malaysia and for Trois autres Malaisie.