The library (excerpt)

Illusion is something that someone believes is real, but it´s not.

There are creatures in this world, and in many others, that most people would consider illusions; just because they are able to do things others can´t or, more often than not, because they can´t see them. But there are always people who can; an image that suddenly comes to mind, or in a more physical and real way. The first ones, you call them creative. The second ones, madmen.

And in which category am I, exactly? I asked myself while entering the public library.

It wasn´t something I usually did. Hardened reader as I was, since I was so young I couldn´t even tie my own shoes, I liked to read anywhere and at any moment. Wouldn´t the rain take me by surprise for the first time, while reading on a park bench; and without even closing the book, I ran under the nearest tree, for its leaves to serve as improvised umbrella, and be able that way to finish the chapter before looking for shelter. Wouldn´t either be the first time that I forgot about it, and the calm after the storm surprised me still there, with my soaked back stuck to the trunk, sit on the muddy soil, making a barrier with my arm in order to protect the valuable words from the water.

It was usual that I took some book to immerse myself in the middle of family meetings, that I found tedious and unsatisfactory; or that I devoured small tales between classes, while others used their time to use coffee as fuel for their tired bodies, or to fraternize with their peers in what is know as society.

I have had hundreds of arguments because of reading while I ate; I had shelves in every corner, and books all over the place; my thought was that the good book was the one with broken, loose, and dirty pages, as it would have been read over and over again to the point of getting to that sad condition.

However, the number of times I had gone into a library was negligible.

When I was forced to go inside, the visit was quick. I researched before going directly to the book I wanted to borrow, as quick as possible, and I went out without further delay. I didn´t even doubt in letting another person give it back, despite my hesitation in borrowing books to others.

The thing is I couldn´t bear the feeling that overwhelmed me sat among all those volumes, like a prisoner waiting for sentence, tried and condemned by leather and cardboard spines, and moldy pages. And where do I stand then? I asked myself again, before coming in.

I stopped on the doorstep that took to the search department I should go, and I let the air fill my lungs in an attempt of filling myself with courage, extracting it from the oxygen and using it in my own benefit. It was in vain. I had to let it go in an exhalation as deep, which let me be there looking like a deflated balloon with defenceless gesture and dressed with an old man jacket.

Two steps later, I was in.

If you want to read the full story, click here: The library


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