Joel’s Journal – Beginnings



In second year of university, I lived in an old house with a pair of friends.

My room was the master bedroom. It wasn’t much of a master though, it wasn’t much bigger than the others and there was no on-suite bathroom. I think the label was just put on the lease to justify having me pay the most rent.

Anyways, my futon took up most of the space, the thick blue cushion that served as a mattress was nearly a foot thick, but still felt like a rock to sleep on. It sat beneath a large window, which was probably my favorite feature of the place. It looked out into our small backyard that had a few thin trees and a tiny pond. My desk took up the rest of the space.

I only spent about 10 months living in this house, but I think I’ll always remember that room.

The way you can recall the lyrics to your favorite song once the intro starts playing, I can tour that bedroom in my mind the second I start thinking about it.

The way the door use to always stick in the frame when you pulled on it, and the way it caught on the carpet, never fully opening all the way.

The stack of wooden crates that served as a TV stand, the closet doors that were more like wooden curtains than doors, and the awful glass desk I’d purchased in high school, the one that no matter how many times you scrubbed it, would always be covered in greasy fingerprints. I wrote my first short story at that desk.

My mind has been occupied by this concept of “beginnings” lately, and more specifically, how obscure they are in life.

When writing a novel, or reading a short story, the beginning is obvious, it’s right where the text begins, simple as that.

Life is full of stories too, whether it’s personal memories, those stories that happened to a friend of a friend, or the bits of news you read on Twitter or in the newspaper in the morning.

The beginnings in these cases are clear to, but when they actually happen in life, when a story actually begins, one that is going to become one hell of a story later in life, do we know what we’re at the “beginning” when it actually happens?

I think for the most part we don’t, it’s only after the story has come together that we can look back and say, ‘yeah, that’s where it all began.’

It just makes me think whether I’m in the middle of any “beginnings” right now?

Thanks for reading,