I know I waste too much paper. I throw away stacks of paper when one of my characters takes a wrong turn and I have to rewrite her direction, her moods, and her new plans. If there’s a conflict a whole chapter may be filled with worst case scenarios. Only the final scenes determine which pages remain and which ones burn. Even poetry burns hotter some nights.
Long ago stories were chiseled on rock pages, and were much heavier than paper. Happy was the poet when he could do a little trimming and make his story lighter before he put it on his blog. A long story had to wait until paper was invented and ready to waste. the first story had to be short and sweet. It might have been told like this. “I threw my spear with skill, moved village near kill.”
The Romans cut the stories even shorter. “Veni, Vidi, Vici.”
There were no paper magazines to advertise clothing. It was use hides and cloth or nothing. Paper was still gaining status until finally it was used as waste, one catalogue page at a time.
Pulp fiction took on a new meaning and paper became the norm. Those who star in the program, “Naked and Afraid,” must have tricks up their sleeves or hidden somewhere or they couldn’t turn down “paper or plastic.” Natural materials are not always as soft as paper.
Once in a country with less wealth and less waste, I discovered huts with cardboard walls. I was amazed to see toilet paper used once, dried, and used again. I was more careful with waste paper after that. I want to leave this planet cleaner and as a responsible man, not as a paper tiger.
june 22, 2017