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I get high from the fragrance of a store that sells paper.

Shelves full of notebooks, blank journals lined and unlined, stacks of cards, and packets of writing paper thick with promise. Colorful bindings, cunningly designed covers and frontispieces , blocks of pastel stationery with matching envelopes waiting to be addressed with one of the many pens on sale in the same store. Pens and ink. Paper and paper and more paper.

Holding a package of new computer paper, white and clean, comforts me. I imagine it is like holding a baby close to my chest, and i can almost feel the thick package breathing.

It is a blank page, this paper store, waiting to be inscribed upon, and for some reasons i cannot fathom, walking into such a store opens the world to me. Walking into bookstores does sort of the same thing for me – a contact high – but also its different: in a book store, someone else has done the creating, while in a paper shop, a stationers, it is i who will do the creating.

I see a blank page as if it is a block of the finest marble, and my job is to carve away anything that does not look like a thought; raw naked pages may well be the most exciting thing i can possibly think of to take with me to a desert island, a stint in solitary, as long as i have a pen or pencil to make marks with, to cover the blank, naked skin with tattoos of my inner self.
Naked implies vulnerability.
Nothing is more virginal than a fresh sheet of white paper. So many possibilities.
I am so filled with colors i wish to get onto a blank canvass, and ever since i was a teenager, that canvas has been a diary, a journal, a stack of paper dedicated to me and only to me. The most reliable date for countless Saturday nights. On blank pages, naked pages, i can build kingdoms.

Figuratively speaking, I take my own clothes off in the presence of that naked page, and we dance together.
Shapes of thoughts and feelings lie under the blank naked paper like curves under a mountainous landscape.
I can feel the curves breathing, like voluptuous bodies breaking free.
I join my breath with theirs.
We become one.
And i am no longer alone.

BLESSINGS FOREVER (yesterday’s prompt response)
Do not think I am ungrateful for all the years we had together, as mates and friends;
Do not think I am ungrateful for all the generous gifts you gave me, both material and spiritual;
Do not think I am ungrateful for all the deep love you gave me over the 50 years – more than 50 really ;
Do not think I am ungrateful for your steadfast devotion, no matter what we were going through;
Do not think I am ungrateful for your beautiful dear brown eyes through all the years;
Do not think i am ungrateful for all the forgiveness you shed on me;
Do not think I am ungrateful for how you haunt me , even from your grave;
Do not think i am ungrateful for all the riches you brought into my life;
Do not think I am ungrateful for all the wonderful road trips we took together;
Do not think I am ungrateful for all the marvelous memories;

And finally, do not think i am ungrateful that you are now out of pain and resting in the heavenly home you always dreamed existed.

I miss you Paul.
Every day, I miss you.

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