Jan. 5th, 2011

campkilkare: (Default)
It's hard to track when madness starts. There's nothing wrong with a library after all, and even as your fortunes changes and you leave your house for the apartment and then the smaller apartment and then the rooms in the endlessly subdivided house, crammed in the eaves, the books comes with you, even as the shelves leave you, stacked in the books you moved them in, laid on their sides so you can dig inside.

That's not crazy. It's love.

The beginning of the slide is probably your interest in the first sentence of books. In a hole in a hill lived a hobbit. Poetry. It was the best of time, it was the first of times. Call me Ishmael. You read them over and over, but less and less each time, going a short way in. You start to browse shamelessly, buying books after reading a handful of pages. A page. A line. Accumulating. Throwing out the ones that starts slow or rigid or simply dully.

Without a strong foundation, you can build nothing. Nothing.

Where along that path did your marriage end? Hard to say. It was before the notebooks--the record-keeping--because you never had to hear him complain about the growing stacks of marble-covered themebooks.

Of course you don't need more than one to list all the first lines of all the books you own, after the ruthless culling, the extravagant trials, given every chance to defend themselves (was that it? was that when?). The later notebooks are for combinations. Changing the order you list them in, looking for messages. Blocks of text of initial letters, looking for ciphers. Changing the orders of the words, of the letters, mixing and matching.

In the best of times in a hole in a hill lived Ishmael.

Somewhere after madness begins, after everything is gone, when you live in precarious circumstances and the money in the shoebox in your closet starts to dwindle, you understand what it has been about; from the beginning, the seed enclosed in the whole, the cause becoming the effect, the cure to a disease it caused itself.

If you find it, the perfect sentence, the perfect start, you will have it. You will have the power of the new beginning. You will have it.

They shuffle you out into the streets; they toss your books into the trash, you have no room for them now, but you take the notebooks. You give your cat to the shelter and you hope; there's nothing more you can do for him.

And you board the train, back to the man who loved you once, with the last of the money you have. You are dirty and tired, hair too long and stringy, skin sallow and sagging. But none of that matters, if you crack the code. You have eight hours. Eight hours to find the key that will unlock the door to the book of the rest of your life; to the past. Everything begins where it ends.

One way or another.

You have eight hours to crack the code; ten years hasn't been enough. And if you don't...

You don't know.

You don't know.

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T. Oso

March 2016

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