Page 188

27 Apr

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…


Posted by on 27/04/2014 in Fiction, Life, My Writings


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34 responses to “Page 188

  1. Al

    27/04/2014 at 20:18

    And page 188 is where all of the answers lay. Maybe opening a different book to page 188 will give even more answers, and that they are the most incredible enlightenments that anyone could ever desire. Maybe each of his books has something to tell on page 188.


    • Ste J

      27/04/2014 at 20:21

      I think overall it’s all subjective to the reader of any particular book, I hammered this out on half an hour earlier on today and didn’t xplore it in enough depth probably. I suppose ultimately it is not what it written but the unknown, the though that there is something that we miss which could give us some insight or joy in life previously not known about. The words and how they play out for each of us is the unique beauty of books though.


      • Al

        27/04/2014 at 21:07

        I think you did it really well. You told the story of the missing page and how that tells the person in the story what he needed to know and what that he had something worthwhile to do.


        • Ste J

          28/04/2014 at 12:47

          Thank you,I do like speculation of a sort, answers are great but look at the X-Files that went down hill when they started revealing stuff, it’s the mystery of it all and what is life but one continuous series of mini surprises fueling the learning of each individual.


          • Al

            28/04/2014 at 14:30

            I agree. Same as the “will they – won’t they” on TV shows. When it comes to “they will” it removes some of the fun. Moonlighting was a classic example of that


            • Ste J

              29/04/2014 at 18:36

              I never watched that but if it is good then I will hunt down some episodes.


              • Al

                29/04/2014 at 18:58

                I can’t remember much of it. It was Bruce Willis with hair and Sybil Shepherd.


  2. Claire 'Word by Word'

    27/04/2014 at 21:59

    There will always be simple wonders and that one should arrive on a leaf sounds like great hope to me, may the leaves be a constant reminder and when you forget, just hug the tree in thanks for what is to come. 🙂


    • Ste J

      28/04/2014 at 12:45

      I blame my time reading War and Peace for the quote, as it were. I had meant a whole page to be written but on balance the simpler and shorter it is the more profound someone may find whatever message they wish to see.


  3. gargoylebruce

    27/04/2014 at 22:54

    Perhaps it was Aaron Hulme who tore the page, angling for some free publicity at an unspecified point in the future. There’s certainly a Dr Who script in that,


    • Ste J

      28/04/2014 at 12:43

      Ha! What sort of devious mind could conceive of such a monstrous plan…apart from yours. I am quite happy to co write a script for the Who machine if anybody is reading this who can get me involved. Thinking about it perhaps this whole post was a just shameless begging lwetter to the BBC in disguise.


      • gargoylebruce

        29/04/2014 at 03:59

        Ask your cousin – surely he has connections in his collection!


  4. angela

    28/04/2014 at 03:47

    love little mysteries such as this…keeps a passion adrift in a soul that perhaps is starting to sink – is that not the point of worlds created in words ~


    • Ste J

      28/04/2014 at 12:49

      It sure is…and it amazes me that new perspectives on the simplest of things can bring so much joy to people and really change the way the world around us is viewed. I think I need to read more!


  5. shadowoperator

    28/04/2014 at 13:38

    You had me going there for a while, I almost wondered if this was fact rather than a story, I could SO see you pursuing p. 188 when you had lost family, job and home because of your inveterate curiosity and book appetite!


    • Ste J

      28/04/2014 at 13:53

      I need a place to store my books so that would never happen haha! I do obsess over information and have to know…it leads to many sleepless nights trawling the internet searching for the esoteric facts which my brain demands. This being only second fiction piece I’ve written on the blog I’m not surprised it wrong footed you for a time.


  6. readingwithrhythm

    29/04/2014 at 14:13

    Now I’m worrying about all those pages I have chewed out of books in my past. What kind of mysteries did I create?!


    • Ste J

      29/04/2014 at 18:32

      The best kind of mystery! The ones that make people think and maybe write inspire people to to write some blog fiction.


  7. LuAnn

    30/04/2014 at 18:15

    Ok, you had me stumped for a bit, rummaging between fact and fiction. And now that I can breathe easier knowing that we don’t have to pull you out of some cardboard box on the street, I must say very well done. 🙂


    • Ste J

      01/05/2014 at 14:03

      I do like to sneak some random bits in to keep you guessing but I am happy to report that I am happily warm and covered up with walls and a roof. If I ever end up in that situation I will let you know post haste!


      • LuAnn

        02/05/2014 at 12:24

        I was wondering for a split second how everything went so wrong and how you remained so calm.


        • Ste J

          06/05/2014 at 19:18

          They don’t call me Mr Unruffled for no reason…well they do it’s because I don’t possess any feathers.


  8. quirkybooks

    01/05/2014 at 01:42

    I hope you are not really homeless? Maybe you are destined to get a job near Christina?


    • Ste J

      01/05/2014 at 13:56

      I like to mix up my musings with a bit of fiction to keep people on their toes. Now that would be a wonderful thing to have!


  9. thejerseygal®™

    02/05/2014 at 06:28

    The way it made the light shiver in an almost sensual way…omg…brilliant.

    But the book, it’s not what caught my attention. Lost your job, house, family? Did I miss something here?


    • Ste J

      06/05/2014 at 19:14

      Although my musings are factual, I like to mix in elements of fiction as well…I am stable with life stuff, so worry ye not…I didn’t make it particularly clear it was a character as opposed to me…it keeps you guys on your toes.


  10. anna amundsen

    02/05/2014 at 11:07

    Aside from the fact that this text could use a bit of editing, I think it the best piece of literature you’ve published so far.

    No need to say how much I fancy the picture!


    • Ste J

      06/05/2014 at 19:17

      Yes it was something of a whim post and I didn’t polish it, it is rare that I do anything like this so thought it would be nice to put it out rough and ready to show my standard sans polish.

      It is a downright sexy picture I agree…I could spend days in just looking before I even explored.



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