Sealed Envelope

Do you ever hide secret notes for your future self, promptly forget, and then find one later squished in some random spot, and go huh?

Last night I found one of mine. We were looking for a certain software CD—we checked the shelves in the living room, the computer boxes, the shelves in the bedroom, the cabinet, anywhere we could think—when I got distracted. I had found, slipped in between some random objects under the loft, a business-size envelope. Written on the front in my own handwriting was the name of the writers’ colony I had spent the month of April at two years ago. It was stuffed full of something. And completely sealed.


Was it something I was supposed to send them and never did? But there was nothing I would need to send back to the colony after leaving it—it was one of those places where you are given the gift to simply be there, you don’t pay, though they house you, and feed you, and drive you to town if you want to go to town. You’re not even expected to do the project you said you’d do when applying (in fact, I ended up doing a different one). There is nothing to prove to them, so there would be no need to send them any kind of papers.

Was this envelope put away for a reason? Why was it sealed?

I tore it open.

Inside were pages from the notebook I carried around with me that April two years ago. I must have torn them out, folded them up, and sealed them in here. I let out a breath upon seeing them. I remembered the notebook. I remembered scribbling these pages. I remembered that studio I lived in with the grand piano and the chandelier, a small house at least three times the size of my New York apartment, and all for me. I remember the air up there at the colony, the way it smelled, I can’t ever forget the smell. I remembered the divine banana-coconut muffins that the chef made some lucky mornings. And—more than any of that—I remember being more inspired than I have ever been in my entire life.

I considered quoting randomly from the pages in this post, but I won’t. I don’t think what’s scrawled in there will carry any real weight, except to me. For instance, I scribbled about being outside on my rock, writing. None of you know that I had a favorite rock outside my studio where I would go to sit. Why would you? Me, in love with a rock? It doesn’t make sense. But it happened.

This sealed envelope was a little present I must have left for myself, to remember. I have no memory of doing that, but how sweet of me to think of me, you know? It was a good find. Though—it should be noted—we did not succeed in finding the CD.

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