Something new. Not improved necessarily, but new in the sense that the page was blank, and there were no previous ideas which shaped or biased what was brought to the page at the moment.
The page existed in his mind. He had spent so much time sitting in front of pages, hoping for immaculate inspiration, that he eventually just created a page in his head, gave it a pen, and instructed it to write down any inspiring events as they occurred to him. Then he got up and went out into the world in search of inspirations. If they wouldn't come to him, he'd go find them.
As Thistle continued to walk away from the restaurant, he tried to think about the man whose life had ended. He wondered just how much he had had to do with the end of the man's life. He had seen the future, the bridge where the truck overturned, the strip of highway. He just hadn't come up with the explicit time context. Was that a morning sun or an evening sun? And where was the bridge?
The bridge. The bridge, as a metaphor, was an icon in his past. He could remember riding across one in the Chevy pick-up, his father's belly bouncing beneath a striped t-shirt syncopated with the rhythm of the bridge's undulations. That same bridge had become more of a symbol of conflict in his life as a teen; it seemed that every time he came to the start of one side, the struggle began between forces wanting to get to the other side and forces wanting to try another side. Should he, once again, follow the path of so many others, crossing safely over the river, passing on to the next thought and action of routine? Or could he find a different path, one hidden underneath the bridge somewhere? He would imagine his vehicle prying through the guard rail, gracefully arching over the side and down, into the shallow river. He imagined himself still behind the wheel as the car patiently filled with water. He imagined the questions he would be asking then.
This was not that bridge. This bridge had arrived uninvited, unannounced; had breached the gap between existence and non-existence. Between Life and Death. He would cross that bridge when he came upon it, too.
Why were these scenarios so dominant, so prominent in his thoughts while he was an adolescent? When he was five, it didn't matter what clothes he was wearing, how much he weighed, if he'd ever fall in love, if he'd get married. He didn't think of what it would be like to die. He didn't think of how to die.
For some reason, he was still alive, whether he thought about it or not, whether he thought about death or not; He continued on, along with the questions. Which ones were the most important? Which ones could he realistically hope to answer?
There were answers to some of the questions. Some of them just took a long time to explain. Especially if you start off in the wrong direction.
And there was no way to really know if you were going the right way. Or if you were getting anywhere. That perception could only prove itself with time.
So he tried not to think about it. He looked at what he had done with his life and saw an outline to a vast, ornate work of art. He saw that it would take many hours of organization and scrambling and unscrambling to get it right. Could he bring forth the discipline to get the job done?
Could he tell a story with his life?