I undressed my ego as I walked inside; it wouldn’t accept me any other way. The forthcoming scent of cluttered stories, wisdom, and history sobered my thoughts.
This is how ‘human’ should always feel.
Meandering is most productive here, so I meandered.. until I found exactly what I wasn’t looking for. Its weight in my cradled arms reincarnated me into a familiar child-like complex. I approached a lonely patch of carpet where I knew that together we were capable of finding ourselves terribly lost.
The palm of my right hand became a perfect table as my left hand reached for the top right corner of fabricated cardboard. If I was lucky, I would uncover a note to a loved one, a date, or a stamp. If not, the smell would tell its own story.
My right pointer finger — as north as the paper allowed — was as anxious and excited as I, but far more patient; I’m a slow reader. I sunk deeply into the syntax of each sentence, into complexities that were so simply reduced.
I bartered with antagonists. I drowned in empathy. I relished in satirical wit. I ached in suspense. I appropriated lousy endings. I befriended the voices reading aloud in my head. I found bravery in written closure. I was reminded that my mortality and my potential were beautifully wedded. My gravity centered.
There, considerably quite lost, I found myself.
I closed both covers, my hands assuming a prayer-like formation—the pages its centerpiece. My legs uncurled as I arose from the warm patch of carpet to return the book to its shelf. The next person deserved to find exactly what he isn’t looking for, too.
I walked outside into the warm, winter sun — the unnamable scent clinging to me like my own little secret.
— — —
I believe there are two man-made structures that one can leave both empty-handed and in solitude, yet entirely fulfilled: a church and a library. I hope you can find a home in both.