Destructions

structions
"So it goes."

My friend Wayner calls them "destructions." Those step-by-step illustrations printed on the back of the box, that box you inadvertently pulverized when opening, before you realized there were destructions printed on the back. He calls them "destructions" because he insists that even if you hadn't pulverized the box when opening it, the illustration on the back probably wouldn't have helped you assemble the fine product within. The destructions almost always appear to have been produced by someone for whom your native language isn't native. Also by someone other than anyone who might have actually assembled the fine product inside. They hire copywriters, out-sourcing this sort of work. It's cheaper that way.

I almost always end up assembling the fine product exactly one more time than I disassemble it.
The total, assemble/disassemble cycle count averages around five, which might mean that the third time is still the charm. I learn more when assembling it wrong than the destructions ever teach me. I usually end up scraping, denting, or otherwise disfiguring the fine product during "assembly." I often just give up after my third try, figuring that though I do have a few parts left over, the fine product does not seem capable of electrocuting me or lobbing off any prominent protuberance, so I count my blessings, return the screwdriver and slack-jaw pliers to their full and upright positions, and call my work done.

Most products don't even come with destructions on the box because most things don't come in boxes. Some thoughtful retailer "broke bulk" and sold the fine product individually. Others just seem to so simply snap together that nobody ever thought to include destructions. I, for instance, didn't arrive here in a box, and if I did, my parents pulverized it when extracting me. I came without destructions, expected to pick up at least the gist of this place through osmosis, observation, and/or good fortune, not to mention bad fortune, too. I've met no end of others who seem convinced that they know what I should do, but many of them have proven unreliable, perhaps because their parents pulverized the box they came in, too. Or maybe they didn't even come with a box. Even had that box been there and somehow not pulverized, the destructions printed on the back would have probably inspired them to disassemble a few times. I know that I've been engaged in serial disassemblies since the earliest days I can remember, slotted screw driver and slack-jawed pliers continuously employed.

I'm nearing the end of this series, this book, this AnotherSpring experiment. This exercise, extended forward following AnotherWinter, which I extended forward from AnotherFall and AnotherSummer before those, ends tomorrow or today, depending. Tomorrow morning at 4:07AM MDT, this Spring, AnotherSpring, will end, opening up space for something different. I cannot just blithely slip into AnotherSummer because that was last summer already. This summer's sure to be different. How different? I don't know yet. It turns out that the Solstice doesn't come in a box and even it it did, that box would be pulverized when opening it, and even it wasn't pulverized, the destructions would likely guide me to assembling it wrong exactly one less time than I assembled it, finally settling for slightly different from whatever the illustration led me to believe I would end up with. So it goes.

My proposal when I started these four (now) books, exactly one year ago tomorrow, was to demonstrate that each day might hold some delight without a bunch of searching around in the back of any closet. Could I find enough to observe and reflect on looking forward each day to complete a few hundred entertaining words. I've held myself to the principle that I'm not here to tell anyone else how to live and also to keep my reflections personal, if only because the personal embodies the most universal while the etherial third-person universal rarely manages to get personal enough. I missed a few days, perhaps seven over the year, largely due to technical difficulties. I think only two due to abject discouragement, a once much more common personal affliction.

Now, what to do with these four finished manuscripts? I could say that I've been working on that, but I've actually been fretting over that in the background for much of this final season. I have a lead when I should have ten leads. I might need a literary agent. I fear the requirement that I might need to promote myself. I'm still working on accepting that I've written four books in the last year. I didn't write them to become notorious. I wrote them because I could and because I really needed to write them.

So it goes.

©2018 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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