So the ENTIRE book I’m currently writing is in second person…so I forced myself not to share any of that. Instead I found an abandoned story from years ago and brushed it off. Not sure about the title but I like the idea. Thanks!
This is How it Ends
You spend a lifetime learning stuff. Not average stuff but cool stuff like astronomy and English poetry because you are smart. You read books in French and write notes in the margins, bookshelves in every room. You have a glass barometer, wood sander, and an assortment of Chinese and Native herbs— how to heal cancer naturally. You travel the world and collect trinkets to remember it all—carved camels from Egypt, Lakota prayer wheels, shells from every ocean placed around the house like tiny altars. Holy water from Mecca and Lourdes. Rare books of fairy tales from Romania and Russia, their tissue pages like the crumbling wings of a moth. You learned to sand wood, melt down stained glass into tiny little angels and wolves howling at the moon. A high-powered telescope for star gazing in your backyard.
It ends with your memorial in that same backyard, your dog wondering where you went, the people marveling over your handmade stained glass and elaborate birdfeeders. Then the relatives come through—take the telescopes, the Bose stereo, the televisions and computers, the jewelry with obvious value. Then the extended relatives, the cousins, friends of cousins, the husbands take the tools in the garage, remarking on their pristine condition, the wives pick through the books, take the ones without too much underlining, pass on the French. The ones with a sentimental flair take the vintage records and record player, the kids claim the Christmas ornaments, finally someone takes the Arabic tapestry, no one knows what the holy water from Mecca is, shaking it and shrugging. Then the friends of friends of friends come, take the spare bedroom furniture for their son who is growing out of his bed, the couch for their sister who’s getting a divorce, more of the books go as well as a few bookshelves, shit, I needed these, everyone looking in desk drawers, kitchen drawers, remarking how neat your file cabinet is, a drawer full of unused greeting cards for every occasion, Georgia O Keefe watercolors and space nebulas and handmade cards collected in Egypt and France. A secret compartment in the jewelry box reveals nothing but it goes too, along with the lamps and the end tables, picture frames off the wall, new chairs for someone else’s dining room table, the old vacuum and the 3-month supply of toilet paper under the bathroom sink. And finally it ends with a guy off Craigslist who shows up with a truck and takes everything that is left.