There’s nothing better than losing oneself in good books for getting over some bad memories. I just pick a book from the countless inhabitants on my shelf, blow off the dust on the edges and the cover, open the book and start to escape. I pretend I’m really there, maybe the librarian who’s a divorcee and liked to eat a lot? Good call. Or the girl with the pink everything? Pink blouse, pink skirt, pink stockings. She’s closer to my age, too. Too bad I don’t like pink.
I just read and read and forget and fill my mind with these new memories which aren’t really mine. Well, they’re a lot better than my own. No issues with that.
But suddenly, I come to a point when there’s a typo in the middle of the paragraph. I disregard it, of course, and get on, but I turn the page and find out that a full fifteen pages have been misplaced. From page 299, I get to page 315.
What’s it mean?
No one really gets on as one planned. Even escape routes aren’t much. Crawl around the tunnel into the underground hoping your pursuers don’t find you—until you come to a point where there’s a huge gaping hole right above you, where you see reality peering at you, laughing. Pathetic fool.
And so you turn the succeeding pages furiously, hoping to outrace the memories that reality is beginning to hurl back at you. You race to fill your head with images so as to leave no space for the intruder that is your real life.
What could you do?
These books are reminding me of their materiality. They are man-made, imperfect. Constructed. Of course they do not correspond to any mental images I may have of them. Pretty much like friends. Lovers. Brothers. Reality holds them in its hands, and I cannot see them in their entirety. I can only see
the sides that peek through Reality’s vise-like grip.
Maybe I should just sleep. I’m not in the mood to confront reality right now. Better just turn inward and converse with myself. Even if I never remember what I dream about.
*by Haruki Murakami