Finally achieving one’s aim always pushes the emotions quickly from jubilation to worry, said somebody, probably not me as nothing I say is original anymore. Maybe that statement is erroneous but after months of searching I have finally found what I want and here is where the doubt begins. I’ve lost my job, house and family but here I stand, homeless unwashed and uncomfortably close to other people in this cramped little bookshop with my very own version of the Golden Fleece.
Now I have this void gnawing at me as I gaze undecided at my goal resting firmly in my hands. It’s a book, no surprise there…it’s in decent nick, a little battered on the corners and with no dust jacket. There is nothing collectable about this tome whatsoever unless you are in the tiny minority that may have a passion for Aaron Hulme books.
I won’t blame you for not having heard of him, not many have it seems but this is where my odyssey ends, with a piece of unremarkable prose…and it really is just that. You know sometimes you just pick up a book on the fly and read it, it doesn’t have to be particularly amazing or even that entertaining, just something to keep the ol’ brain ticking over and a story to explore.
The plot was fairly generic and unimportant when it came to it but what had me, encapsulated and puzzled me was a missing page. Ripped out, a sickening travesty that underlines why we should bring back hanging in my view…but it was this missing page, page 188 that intrigued me, worried me would be more precise.
I mean why would you do it? What words could have been contained there, something profound maybe, that’s where a lot of golden knowledge nuggets nestle, in amongst the dreary noise of frivolous words. Perhaps it will be meaningless to me, the impenetrable nature of another human being foiling me no matter how I try to untangle the words, words of meaning for a particular soul like a key in a lock.
Well either way I am here now and ready to find out the secrets of this book and not a moment too soon as I am getting suspicious looks from everybody (and the dog) in this claustrophobic casa of knowledge and delight. I can’t help but think back though, to those days of endless searching, the drive to find this almost elusive book that means so much and yet so little to me.
The days of walking around the various newsagents and letting my eyes slide over predictable bestsellers, of crawling into the recesses of the musty smelling second-hand bookshops, using my mobile as a torch search the books behind books in the most remote corners…that’s all gone now, relief turns to trepidation and I can finally find out what is said on pg 188.
It wasn’t the leaf that caught his eye as much as the way it made the light shiver in an almost sensual way. Perhaps things would never be the same for Blake now he had experienced this simple wonder…
So there you have it, my promised land, the obsession for the end of a chapter which meant that I lost everything. Brilliant, I can’t even buy the book to dwell upon it, so I scour the words into my head, as to tear out the page would be the ultimate irony. Maybe by some sort of ingenious paradox this is the copy that comes to my hands by the past and perhaps that leads to my ruin and if I just walk away and leave it intact this won’t have happened…I wish to God that this is true but I’ll never know if it is.
I need to find somewhere to sit and think, its raining and there is a bridge by the canal that will do to keep me dry. Nature is great when you don’t live in it all year around but what in those words could move somebody to wish to study them? Possibly to conceive of some mystical truth akin to alchemy, to have the physical proof of some amazing idea hidden in plain sight like the beauty of the stars in the firmament.
Or is it a joke, misdirection or a randomly pulled out page of a less than average book used to scrawl down a note or phone number, it’s conundrums like this that make me people paranoid. Could these ideas be true or am I going down the wrong path…I just don’t know and to ponder on it will be the ruin of me.
Life is strange, people are strange and perhaps I have been led here for a reason, I don’t mean like religion or anything, or even fate or karma, just through the ebbing and flowing of people, this complicated seething mass of humanity. Pouring forth everywhere and just existing until the whole thing goes to pot. I’m cynical, it’s easier to question when you have nothing and nobody listens.
I have no idea where I am going or indeed what I will do now that the Greatest Mystery of my Life has been solved to the evident dissatisfaction and frustration of this mortal…I don’t mind though not really, this is a cruel world but these days the only way can only be up for me. Be careful what you follow in life, it may not always be a good thing…