Reading Other People’s Books Reminds Me of the People I Love

I have a house full of books.  I believe in new books, that smell when you crack the spine for the first time and the fresh ink hits your nose.  I believe in being careful with books and sometimes, I think you must write all over them in order to tell yourself later what you thought right then when you hit these words that time you had that pen in your hand.

Lately, I’ve been reading books other people loan me and I find it kind of distracting.  I see the places the pages have been folded to mark a spot and I wonder what it was that stopped the book’s owner there–a phone call, sleep, someone coming up the steps.

That’s the thing about reading someone else’s book.  It’s always haunted by that other reader–a phantom thumb that bends the page farther up than mine, a wider palm that sets the pages between the thumb and end finger farther apart.

I want the things I observe to teach me lessons and so I tell you stories about the things I observe, hoping that, by the time I get done writing about them, some moral will be obvious, reason will become clear, coincidence will be given motivation.

But really, sometimes, you can just forego that.  You can stop wondering what it means, if anything.

Not forever, mind you.

But for long enough.

I’m done looking for explanation.

I am who I am and you are who you are.  I don’t get it and it fills me with a lot of relief to admit that.

I have no idea why you’re so fucked up.  I have no explaination for why you show up when you do and what you’re hoping to get out of it.  I don’t know what I can do to ease your discomfort and so I’m going to stop guessing.

There’s nothing to understand.  Each takes what he can from the tiny bit he is given.  Even me.

"These fragments I have shored against my ruins"

"Datta.  Dayadhvam.  Damyata.

                                                           Shantih shantih shantih"