Going through my boxes of old papers, I’m discovering that what I thought of as my “early stories” aren’t in fact my early stories. That is, there was a whole other set of short fictions that I wrote in the late 1980s and early 1990s that I’d completely forgotten about.
Below are two more from this set of newly uncovered work, written by a guy that I can’t say I recognize any more, yet it is me, was me, anyway.
“It was a dark and stormy night,”??? A bit of playfulness surely, dated from the fall I spent on a co-op term in Ottawa (1989), hanging around Dow’s Lake, living with two fellow University of Waterloo co-op students. One of my roommates would steal toilet paper from his government office complex, helping us save money. I don’t remember being that desperate.
The other story—“A Treatise on Love”—is cringeworthy, surely. Another draft in the file is titled, “A Lecture on Love.” One might think it was a reference to Plato’s Symposium, but not so. I don’t remember writing this one at all or any context for it as a piece of writing. I recognize the obsession with communication and missed connection—or perhaps more rightly said, miscommunication and hoped for connection. Attempts to define boundaries, achieve meaning, wonder if it’s possible.
Certain real life events are surely also weaving in the shadows here.
There’s humour in both of these pieces and also uneasiness. Those things I still recognize in myself. It’s pretty clear the two are connected. At one time, I think I hoped for an eventual resolution, a moving beyond the dis-ease, but I take it as a feature, not a bug, now. At least, it’s not all uneasiness. That’s consolation.