only the gods are real

finally, time to write a proper post. 'proper' that is ignorant of the palpable dimension of reality, 'proper' that is me; prone to subjectivity (a phrase that i am really fond of using i may need to patent it someday), 'proper' that needs no validation from any other entity. someone said that i am always trapped in my own tangles of thoughts, hermetic--yes that's the word, separate from the empirical expansion that all other people are living in. in other words i am thought to neglect the fact that we are living in a shared world, i am thought to dismiss the fact that not a space should be specifically assigned to one person only. in other words i should not be acquainted too well with loneliness and that time and place are to be shared because the world is just a very much interconnected giant sphere: i cannot live without you and you cannot live without me, we are one big happy family.

a few days ago i was reading the library copy of neil gaiman's american gods on train, which surprisingly garnered much interest in me (surprising because i don't usually read science fiction or fantasy). that was the last day i ever saw the dusky book cover and the book pages that yellowed unevenly--dark shades eating away the pulpy surface from all directions. i read and closed the book before alighting.

and then the book was gone.

i went to the customer service and reported the loss, it affected me so much. it really upset me. i liked the book and as usual i folded the tips of some pages that contained beautiful paragraphs and important parts of the book. this time there were a lot of pages--there really were, because the plot meandered and branched every now and then. the pace went up and down to my delight, the content heavy with stories instead of thoughts. another thing that upset me was the simple fact that i could not keep my possessions well, moreover the book did not belong to me in the first place.

i went home, my fingers kept twitching while waiting for the library website to load (i was a living bucket of cold sweat) and it indicated that the book had not been returned. i got weary and thought of letting it go. i still remember the concrete evidence of effort the previous person had put in in order to hold the book together: a clear strip of scotch tape on the back cover to fix the photograph of neil gaiman, who is "too good-looking an author", according to a friend. i did that too to the library copy of jeffrey eugenides' middlesex. and it is comforting that although battered, people bother to keep these books in a readable condition for the subsequent readers. (i know they may do it just because the books belong to the library and they are supposed to return them in a good condition, but still.) now that i have lost it i could not help thinking that the effort had been wasted.

last sunday i met my boyfriend and he handed me a brand new copy of american gods. it weighed like feather, but was definitely thicker than the library copy. author's preferred text.

i rarely buy books, lest you forget. he didn't. he just wanted to give me that copy and scribbled something inside. i think a book is a perfect medium to convey your thoughts, whether through the words of the author or through your own handwriting interspersed between the printed semantics. it is a pretty way to communicate. i said thank you, holding onto the book awkwardly, did not know how and where to begin. a new book always feels so foreign to me. it gives me an impression that no one has read that story before, because each evidence of previous readership--blunt page tips, battered covers-- has vanished into thin air. i have not read the new copy except for the introduction.

ps: today i checked my library account again and it indicated that i had returned the copy of american gods. to whoever that found and returned the book to where it truly belongs, i can't express enough gratitude for your very noble deed today.

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