Oh the irony! The humbling recognition that writing a story is the same task as cleaning the garage. The garage that is filled with a Moose Beer plaque and favorites gismos left by Chris, with Great Books of the Western World, with 1000 alphabetized Science Fiction paperbacks nobody will buy, with four coffee tables from Rosie's apartments, three bedframes, two student desks, and one beautiful wooden marimba that only Adrian can play, all sprinkled with the debris of my mother's ins and outs and dying dreams.
Writing a story, no matter how long demands that we (a) begin and (b) finish.
I haven't finished dividing the inhabitants of my garage into trash and treasures, really finished, for the last 21 years. We moved in with no one but three 8th graders to carry for us over a Thanksgiving that rained without ceasing. Everything was damp, so most boxes and trash bags of last minutes items were left in the garage while we scuttled in with mattresses that went onto the floors, with dishes cramped into whichever cabinet was open, and clothes that went right into closets. Then we closed the big double door and didn't open it until summer. So in 1986, I cleaned the garage, created a shady place for a little girl to play, a safe haven for a daschund and a couple of cats. When winter came and icy rains slithered in from the north, we closed the big door again. Everytime it opened after that, something new was added, older residents were slid this way and that, stacked and restacked. Garage sale after garage sale only skimmed the immediate surface. In 2002 I closed the big door for the last time.
Today I need to write.........today I am cleaning the garage instead. It consumes me, the decision to select the protagonists who will remain and the antagonists who will be defeated, thrown away, or sold. I can only pray at the end there is a car-sized path when the story is revealed.