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Title: FOUND (Prelude)

Author: whiterabbit1613

Series: The Daily Show

Rating: PG

Summary: “It’s taped to his bulletin board, so he meant not to lose it.” An essay on transience. (gen, 500 words)


Disclaimer: All television shows and other copyrighted material referred to in this work, and the characters, settings, and events thereof, are the properties of their respective owners. As this work is an interpretation of the original material and not for-profit, it constitutes fair use. Reference to real persons, places, or events are made in a fictional context, and are not intended to be libelous, defamatory, or in any way factual. The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are the creative property of their respective producers. The author of this work of fiction claims no ownership of any of these shows.


Notes: This is the prologue from what was supposed to be my NaNoWriMo fic, which never actually got off the ground. I doubt I’ll ever write the rest, but I liked this part so I figured I’d share. The rest of the story was supposed to be based off different letters and photos from the archives of FOUND magazine.



     Jon may be eco-conscious, but he is a writer, so he is inherently reliant on vast quantities of paper – a forest perhaps, in his lifetime. Except he does recycle; bins and bins of blue printouts, cheap yellow draft sheets, entire memo pads go out to the curb each and every Tuesday, a weekly renewal, a weekly purge. On occasion his daily doodles yield something he particularly likes, and he keeps these few sheets in a box on his bookshelf. There are scripts that he somehow believes are important due to content (only three), scripts that he knows are important by nature (only one, with “I LOVE YOU” written along the margins a thousand times in Stephen’s excited hand), and scripts that aren’t important, except to him (these all have a large blank spot in the middle where the interview should be, with only “Brian Williams” written in the space).

     But for every neatly organized stack of memories, there is a tiny scrap torn from a notebook or a brightly-colored sticky note that somehow escaped the purging hand and now passes its days gathering dust in some forgotten corner of the office or the building or the world. Each time one of these unexpected visitors shows up, it stirs an odd emotion in Jon’s chest; it’s a missive from his former self, from a Jon who hadn’t learned something, hadn’t grown somehow, hadn’t loved someone. Not long ago, he stumbled upon a receipt for takeout from the Lebanese restaurant up the street. “Fool midami makes me feel like everything’s right in the world,” someone had scrawled next to said order, right above the date stamp: 10 SEP 2001. It made Jon’s heart hurt. He wondered who had written it, who had put it on his desk, what he had ordered.

     The notes that he had written himself almost (amused, scared, mystified) him more. There was one, a bright pink post-it, and all it said was “Nate”. Jon didn’t even know if he’d written it before or after his son had been born. Was it a reminder to pick him up? An idea for a name? It’s taped to his bulletin board, so he meant not to lose it.

     This is the accumulated detritus of his life; this is his unintentional history. These are fossils, his anthropological record, the evidence he has existed, exists, will exist. A form of legacy, a love letter to the future. What do they say about him? Do they keep him in the past? Do they keep him in the present? Would they be better off recycled, wiped clean, given a new life? Would he?

     He doesn’t know. He keeps them anyway.

originally posted here.


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