Alter Egos - I Am Done Watching This
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Tuesday, June 12, 2007
So outside of Leonard Cohen what's the loneliest thing you can think of?
I'll tell you: an empty bookshelf. And I'll tell you what's lonelier than that: Dead Beat's library.
If you haven't been in Dead Beat's library, then you have missed out on one of the great treats in the literary world. But tonight the shelves are empty. The books are boxed. Yes my friends, Dead Beat is on the move. Leaving the tranquility of a space sandwiched between the Canadian prairies and the Canadian Shield, the boreal forest. Off to where? Well that's for another day. Today he is contemplative, quiet, not his usual self.
He walks without reason into the empty wood panelled room, surveys the wooden bookshelves devoid of life, drops his head, runs his fingers along the shelves for dust, his own dust, and he walks out again. Later he will return. Leave and return.
While packing them away he was determined to be courageous, heroic, to select those books which would not accompany him on his journey. So in the beginning he took each and every book down singly and held it in his hand, weighing it up: to keep or to pass on. An hour later he was grabbing them a half dozen at a time and storing them away. His pile for passing on non-existent. It doesn't matter that very many of these books will go unread. It doesn't matter that there are often many different copies of the same book. It doesn't matter that there are books there he cannot ever remember acquiring. The acquisition, the possession of books has nothing to do with it, the reading of books has nothing to do with it. These books mark out the passage of Dead Beat's life. The more boxes there are, the closer he is to death.
Book shelves are tombs Dead Beat finally decides. They are empty now. He has risen from the dead.