Steve is desperate. His friend Ian passed away two years ago, leaving behind a legacy that is, as Steve puts it, rapidly vanishing.
“Ian gave it his all,” he says. “He really pressed himself hard to try leaving behind something to remember him by. He wrote songs, novels, screenplays, stage plays, and sitcom teleplays. He also composed musicals, operas, symphonies and music for motion pictures. He left behind so much, yet his parents are intent on destroying it all. That really burns me up.”
I have to admit I was feeling a bit incensed myself when I arrived at Ian’s parents’ house. I was more than ready to confront them over what they had been doing but decided to hear them out first.
“Come in,” Ian’s father Ron greeted me at the door. His demeanor was calm and reassuring, yet did nothing to quench my curiosity for what he had been doing to Ian’s unpublished works. He led me to their bedroom where a startling sight awaited me.
The ceiling over their bed was literally sagging, nearly to the point of breaking.
“There are boxes and boxes of Ian’s so-called works up there,” Ron says. “My wife’s up there trying to bring some of them down now. After she comes down then it’s my turn to go up. Hopefully we’ll ease the load on the ceiling before it breaks. Heck, we don’t even sleep in here anymore, not with the ceiling sagging like that.”
Ron’s wife Karen calls for help as she climbs down from the attic with five boxes in hand. Ron retrieves the boxes, carries them over to his desk and stacks them for me to see. Scribbled on the side of the boxes are the words “Screenplays”.
“What will you do with those boxes?” I asked.
“What else? Throw them away, of course.” Ron answers.
Sensing my rage, Karen removes the lid from one of the boxes, revealing a stack of papers inside. “Take a look at these and tell us what else to do with them besides throw them out.”
I removed the first few pages from the box and glanced at them before it finally started making sense. I put the pages back in the box and offered to carry the boxes out to the edge of the driveway for collection.
“Does it make sense to you now?” Ron asked.
“It does,” I agreed.
For on every single paper that filled each one of the many boxes were just scribbled lines that were impossible to read, almost as if Ian merely touched his pen to the paper and drew one scribbled line right after the next.
Perhaps this was Ian’s real legacy – to bug his parents once last time.