I had lofty images of a pristine, Biblical style tome bound in the finest leathers and gold leaf in my mind as my heart rattled around in the cage that was my chest. The antiquated library directory was painfully slow, so I searched by hand.

When I found it, I nearly wept. It looked more pathetic than the first tucked away in a dusty, disused corner. It's weight was pathetic and the spine was nearly broken in several places, so savagely abused it was.

I sat down right there, my legs crumpling beneath me. I brought the dusty old tome to my nose and inhaled the dusty dry scent. I let its stink fill my flaring nostrils. To this day I could swear I could detect just a hint, a tiny molecule amongst billions, a fine perfume.

I cracked the cover slowly, not out of desire but necessity. The first page was brittle and dusty, the corners flaked slightly as I manhandled them. I feared I might lose my cherished treasure through my own ignorant and careless paws.

She greeted me directly in her ruby red pen and I grew excited. Likely to the disdain of other patrons I squealed, gingerly shut the cover and embraced it like I might a newborn. I held the embrace as long as I could bear in the off chance it's smell would weave itself into my argyle sweater.

In a trance I began to consume it as I did the previous work. This time was altogether different, though. The first was enthralling, all nervous jitters and sheer high. As I enjoyed our textual threesome I realized this was more like a reunion after a long absence, as if my lover had departed for another and returned to me.

There was some initial fumbling as my desire over rode my ability through excitement, but I quickly worked through the failings that had since left me in adolescence. Large words and musings that otherwise would have been unknown to me resolved into a symphony of thought. It was as if I was learning from an older lover.

Before long I tenderly pulled myself away, aching from absence. The guardians of the library, armor clad legionaries stamped with the sign of the Owl, were slowly snuffing out its ornate, polished silver lanterns.

My hair mussed and dried drool caking the corners of my mouth I just made it to the front desk before the doors were bolted to ward off the night. I abandoned my first with a wince and presented my next for inspection and withdrawal.

The librarian was talking.

"........Progenitor theology myself. Interesting people they must have been."


I replied, not really comprehending much of what he was saying, so focused was I on his actions. My ears burned as my eyes burned holes through his wrinkly, centennial hand as he searched for the field journal's inventory card. He practically messaged my darling. I felt as a jealous lover would, all vinegar and wounds

When he found it, made his mark and returned it to me I disappeared into the evening.

I reflected on my growing madness as my boots slapped the cobbles. I speculated whether my irrational behavior was due to some unseen mental defect that had otherwise been dormant up until now, or if the books themselves were driving the dynamo that was my slowly crumbling mind. I also surmised it could have been stress brought on by my intense schooling up until then. But my thoughts were distant and unimportant. It was if they belonged to another individual deep within me who was wholly different and disconnected.

I didn't even realize that I had no idea where I was going, so lost was I. Nor did I notice the fact that my legs were no longer under my own direct control.


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