I fancy myself a writer. A creative writer, at that! Fact of the matter is, I don’t actually write very often, and what I do write is shite.
But that’s not gonna stop me from torturing you lot with some of my drivel from time to time 😀
This came to me at lunchtime one day in late October. I had some free time, and it just… came. So I wrote it. Lunch ended while I was still writing, and I had to set it aside, and then when I came back to it later, I had no idea where it had been going, though at the time I’d had a clear idea of the final scene. Should have made some notes before writing, I guess. I’ll share it here completely unedited, as written in my book.
I was sitting there, under that tree. I didn’t know why. I’ve been drawn there by something. I didn’t understand.
I’d never been there before. I lived half a world away at that time. One morning, over my morning coffee, reading the paper, looking for travel, I stumbled into business. In a small article about I-know-not-what on page B9, there was a picture of a CFO apologizing to the employees of his company, and the shareholders he’d bilked out of scads of cash.
This didn’t interest me. What did interest me was the wall behind the CFO — there was a framed painting or photo, partly obscured by his massive head. It showed a tree, near the sea, with a figure sitting beneath it.
In that moment, my life changed. Before, I’d been drifting through life. I’d had no direction, and was content to merely exist day to day. Mine was a purposeless existence.
But when I saw this tree with a figure underneath, I knew immediately that this was my purpose: to find that tree and wait under it.
I called into work and quit. I didn’t bother to explain; they wouldn’t have understood.
I sure as hell didn’t.
I didn’t know where the tree was, and that was troublesome. I looked at page B9 again and noted the company in question. A quick Google later, and I was on my way.
Arriving at the office building, I walked into the lobby. A security guard questioned my purpose. Of course, I couldn’t tell him everything, no would he have wanted me to, I think. I showed him the newspaper clipping, and he waved me to the far end of the vestibule. I w
There it was, the painting which had so captivated me. I’ll admit, though the quick discovery of the painting ought to have been a joyful moment for me, I found that I was filled with despair. You see, it was a painting — I’d been hoping for a photo. With a photo, I’d know, definitively, that the tree and that place which I felt a drive to go to unlike any desire or lust I’d ever felt before, was a real place, a place I could go, a place where I could satiate this desire.
But it was a painting. A detailed painting that could, conceivably, have been painted on site, or from a photograph, and I could still trace back the location. But, at the same time, it could be nothing more than a vivid image of an imagined place reproduced by a talented artist.
I set about finding any information on the painting that i could. There was no signature that I could see, and no information placard — this was an office tower, not a gallery.
With a quick glance around to see if anyone was looking, and satisfied that I was safe, I lifted the painting off the wall, to get a better look at the backside. The painting wasn’t large — with frame, it was just a touch bigger than an A3 sheet of paper.
And that’s all there is. I reckon the immediately-next thing was going to be the main character absconding with the painting tucked in his jacket. This is just a start to the only story I can write; every story I ever write, of an appreciable length with an appreciable amount of thought always turns into this story where someone ends up waiting an eternity under a tree by the seaside. It’s never exactly the same, but if anyone read through my notebooks, they’d definitely notice the slightly-melancholic, waiting forever under a tree by the sea motif that crops up EVERYWHERE.
The first time I used it was in a class in high school when I wrote a 50,000 word manuscript on reincarnation and magic and mysticism and eternal love. The tree by the sea, there, was a powerful unifying motif. Ever since then, the motif is always there, even though it may not be a main, plot-important one. This start to a story, presented here, would have relied on the tree as a major thing.
Maybe it’s just my signature?
I don’t really know.
Anyway, I’ll probably subject y’all to my writings again soon. Sorry!