I have a notebook. So what, you’ll say, and you’ll be right. I have one too, you’ll say and your asshole friend (you don’t like him, but hell, you’ve been friends for forever, no sense in dissolving that particular friendship) will probably tell us both he has one too and it’s way better than our notebook.
You really shouldn’t hang out with him.
Getting back to the topic in hand, it’s not a magic notebook. I picked it up in a stationery shop near my place because it was on sale and I like the rubber band that came with it. The lady who sold it to me chewed her gum with open mouth and plonked my change on the counter so hard I had to pick some of it from the floor. I smiled at her and took my shiny, non-magic notebook.
They tell me writers should have notebooks, in which they put down ideas and plot points and other useful things. Mine serves for story starts, useful phrases, calculating weekly expenses, doodling while waiting for a bus, writing down prices while negotiating the sale of a pound of figs with a seller with whom we share five words in three different languages. It is indeed, as fine and established authors told me, a useful possession to have. But, established authors didn’t tell me that such a notebook serves more purposes than I imagined before acquiring this fine object. They told me about the effectiveness of writing by hand. They told be about non-linear notes and non-verbal notes. They told me how useful it was to carry it with me at all times and thumb through my old ideas and revitalise them.
They did not tell me that it also:
1.Serves as a plate in dire circumstances, like when I am high in the Albanian mountains and want to dine on my bread and cheese like a lady. This is why it is important to choose a notebook with leather/plastic/sturdy covers and cover it with napkins. Or spare pieces of paper.
ii. I can write my destination on its pristine white pages while trying to flag down bearded truckers who may or may not be going in my direction. They almost always treat me to plums or other interesting snacks. Sometimes they ask to see the notebook and laugh at my doodles. Occasionally they write down something in it and I use it in a story. Last contribution: “Rory was here, Aug 1st”. Not sure what to do with it, but it’ll come to me.
c. I can use it as a mosquito slaying weapon. See above (1.) on the importance of covers. It is a fact known and regretted by many a traveller that foreign mosquitoes are bigger, badder and thirstier than anything in our own country. Honest, Dave, you shoulda seen the bugger, it was easily the size of my thumb. I have a picture.
IV. You can whack a too-friendly backpacker with it. You know the type, you’re chatting with them over a beer one minute, next they try to reach down your bra. Here’s where you’ll be thankful for the sturdy cover yet again. You can also take this opportunity to quickly jot down their name so they can be a non-likeable baddy in your next story.
So, perhaps the notebook is slightly magical. More magical than your asshole friend’s, anyhow, I bet he uses it to write down things like “Amy, 6/10, would bang after three beers.”
You really should stop hanging out with him.