Half the stuff I have ever written in my life disappears in unsaved drafts or forgotten and long obliterated emails. All the long first drafts of Brick’s Picks columns I gushed out…I’d trim them to the exact word count and turn all that excess writing back into random electrons. And I have no idea how many emails are no more, thousands and thousands of emails. I used to do my best stuff in emails. Some were saved. The ones written at work, however, they too are now electrons. They could run on for hundreds of words, for paragraphs, crazy tales of something or other and then poof…..gone. Words become crazy spinning electrons. Probably a million words have gone that way. Hundreds of stories. Thousands of vignettes. I never even think about it till suddenly I want to retrieve one like the tale of the girl I nearly squirted with pickle juice. Sounds funny now, but to a little kid from California plunked down on an island off the coast of Maine it was no laughing matter. Lobster bait. It was my very first day in Great Island Elementary School, the fifth school I’d attended in second grade….beginning in San Diego, a stop in Tacoma, a couple other places, then the wilds of Maine……and my mother packed me a brownbag lunch of a liverwurst sandwich on rye with a pickle and when I bit into that pickle it squirted…but just then the little girl sitting next to me ducked down to pick up a pencil or something and the juice arced clear over her head and landed unseen in the floor. I could see it there, a tiny little puddle. Probably the most relieved I ever felt in my entire life. That was half a century ago but I can still remember it vividly. I wrote down the whole thing in a longish email that is gone now. Just electrons. And you know how electrons are. Meaningless. Brownian. infinitesimally small. Too small to give a damn about, really, except that I just wrote that sentence in electrons.