Library to library

by Christos Polydorou

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I walked through a library once in my dream which brought me to a library which was not in my dream. In both libraries the books were not just books, they were also mirrors, birds, some were goldfish, in a fishbowl, others were lit candles, others trapdoors to wonderful places, others, just traps. I had a whole list of which novels I had to read. I had given myself, in both libraries, the lifelong task, the bit of dinner conversation: to read the classics. Ah, you must be a bookworm, my dinner companion remarked. I have wisdom, and I know that when we mock someone we do so out of ignorance of their subject matter and passion, but even so, I still got cross, and responded:
I’ve never liked the word bookworm.
It is actually a compound noun.
I know.
Then why didn’t you say so in the beginning, if you had, I wouldn’t be disbelieving you right now.
I decided to abandon my wisdom although experience has always proven this to be an error. I lost my cool when you called us bookworms.
Aren’t you?
Do I look like a worm to you?
It is just an expression.
No set of words is just an expression when the person encountering them is in love with words.
What would you substitute bookworm with?
Bookbird.
Quaint.
Truer.
That would imply the book was a tree.
Wasn’t it?

I left both libraries through a single door. Outside, the day was beginning to fall, and the night was beginning to seep in, in seamless and eloquent, articulate and faded waves.

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