Warning: Possible Spoilers Ahead

All That You Love Will Be Carried Away is a short story by Stephen King that can be found in the collection Everything's Eventual. The story focuses on a man named Alfie Zimmer who is an over the road salesman. During his travels, Alfie becomes very intrigueed with different bathroom graffiti bits that he finds on interstate stalls. He takes up the hobby of recording this tidbits of wisdom and even fantasizes about the possibility of someday writing a book.

The beginning of the story introduces us to Alfie as he is checking into a Motel 6. To him, the building is basically indistinguishable from any of the other franchise motels that he frequents on his trips. This corresponds well to his life on the road. He has been on so many of these trips that all the events in his life have just seemed to run into one dismal event, like a water color painting in a rainstorm. The location is in the Midwest in the dead of winter. Being from the midwest, I can speak to the cold and desolate feeling when you are alone during winter. The atmosphere that this picture provides is depressing and dreary, as if you are experiencing a bad dream in black and white.

Having set the stage, King lets us know that this stop is different from all the other stops that Alfie has taken in his bleak life. The story turns towards Alfie's decision to kill himself. We follow his routine as he thinks of tying up loose ends. Even though he is dying, he is very concerned about the way people will view him when he is gone. He doesn't want to be seen as crazy. He just wants to pass without much fuss.

The story shifts back to his notebook. Alfie feels that all the graffiti will lead the authorities that find him to consider him a ranting lunatic. To dispose of the notebook, he walks outside to the edge of a field and intends on throwing the notebook and letting it be "carried away" (All That You Love Will Be Carried Away). As he gazes out over the snow covered emptiness, he sees a farm house in the distance. He prepares to throw the notebook, but after multiple attempts he is unable to and he begins to cry. He makes a deal with himself that if the lights in the farmhouse spark to life he will halt his plans and proceed with writing the bathroom graffiti book. The story ends with the issue in doubt. Personally, I could not close the book without hoping for a flicker of light from the distant farmhouse.

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