Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A true story

The book lies open. It has been open all year, open at the same page she left it on New Year's Day, page 147. It has usurped the place once reserved for the Caged Gifts, resting as it does on the gold brocade chair near the foot of her bed. She doesn't touch it, though her feather duster does tickle the pages once a month or so, and when it does, she looks away, eyes blinking tears. From the dust. Yes, dust. Some days when she awakens her eyes fall upon the book, where it glows whitely in the morning light. She asks herself why she doesn't put it away somewhere, or send it back to the author. It means something, she knows, It means something that it is still there. And yet, nothing has meaning in and of itself, she reminds herself. There is what happened, and then there is the meaning we give it when we try to interpret what happened. What happened. Yes. What happened? I don't know. I really don't know. She looks over at the book. She knows the author's pride in his opus, and she wants to know what happened in the story, even though she knows how it ends. She knows how it ends because she helped the author craft that ending. She told him she wanted to know what the protagonist was thinking and feeling, there, at the ending, which was also the beginning, where things came full circle and the reader knew only the 'what happened' and not the meaning the character ascribed to it. What does it mean? she asks herself. Sighing heavily, torn, she reaches a hand toward the book. And stops. It means whatever I choose for it. And today, because she feels like it, the meaning of the book is a reminder of a promise made. I promised I'd never abandon you, she sends out into the universe, to the author's inner child, but I never noticed you didn't make the same promise, until too late. She glances at it again. The book remains open for lack of closure. She supposes that she will never know what happened in the middle, that perhaps it is enough to know the ending. The only certainty in life is death, and the only certainty with books is that the pages turn until there are no more, and that is The End, whatever the state of the story. What does it mean, then, that a book lies open, abandoned, unread, unclosed? Nothing. It means nothing. Perhaps it never meant anything. And with that thought she rises, gathers the book in both hands, and slams it closed. The End.

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Blogger kujmous said...

What are you reading now?

7:45 AM, May 12, 2007  

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