Monday, July 25, 2005

A test.

For one moment, don’t think about what you’re doing.

Don’t think, don’t question, don’t ask.

Just run over to the closest thing to a bookshelf that you have in your house/apartment/hostel/live-in internet café/magic-dsl-ditch. Run over to the book corral, and grab a book. A special book. Not one that you just bought at the local chain shop just the other day, not that big and fancy (admittedly awesome) Harry Potter tome that you waited for 4 hours to acquire, despite the fact that you may have read it in a single night.

I’m proud of you for reading that. But that isn’t why we’re here. Why you’re there.

Look for one of those books that you haven’t picked up in a good while. The kind of book that you treasured once upon a time, the book that you clutched to your breast after you allowed the words within to change you, the book that you brought with you wherever you went, just for the chance to glance within the hallowed pages just one more time.

Find a dusty, yellowed, well worn book. A book that has seen some love, seen the world, taken your time.

Now place it near your nose and breathe in.


If you sneeze, that’s fine. If something gets within your nose that tickles and annoys you, so much the better. If you inhaled something which you happen to be terribly allergic to, seek immediate medical help. The rest of us…we’ve got some thinking to do.

That’s right. It’s time to get the mind going again, now that the absurdity has passed on by, as we sit around with our ancient books resting gently (or haphazardly, our books can take it) nearby. So sit. And think. About the beautiful thing that you’ve just exposed yourself to. And about what it means to you.

Eternity, kids, that’s what this is about. This is about everlasting life, and the everlasting love that comes along with it, when the people around us take a moment amidst their own aging to stop and remember, to stop and appreciate. The smell that touched the back of your sinuses is older than you will ever hope to achieve by mere mortal means. It’s the blood and sweat and bile and tears of hundreds of men and women and children and ideas. The touch of it all.

Once upon a time, a man had the whimsy to write upon his tombstone, “I am what you will be.” It’s a joke. A joke which causes him to live on, in the battered textbooks of all those who bother to learn Latin. It’s the key to what this all is about. Maybe. Maybe it is. Maybe someday, I’ll figure out exactly what it is that I’m talking about. Until then, let’s see where this goes.

Eternally yours. That’s what it is. The book that you keep in your general vicinity, the book that you cherished once upon a time, that book means something far more than what it was when it first found its way into your grubby little hands. It doesn’t matter whether or not the book is good. It doesn’t matter if it’s one of those stupid Grisham bestsellers. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dog eared collection of essays by Henry David Thoreau. What matters is what you feel about it. What you felt about it.

You cared. It made you think, or at least you thought it did. It made you feel. It made you dance your way across Greece, made you stick your fingers into the putty of a mutilated skull, made you contemplate the existence of a cosmic oversoul. It made thoughts and feelings live on, because of a collection of meaningless words. It made a mark. On you. One that has the chance to last. B - I - N - G - O. Bingo was his goddamn name.



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