11:15: Make that third. It came up long enough to post one webpage. That's it, I'm taking a shower. And then I'm getting a freakin' backup MX before I lose mail.
11:30: And after the shower, there's still no sign of life from the Internet. Oddly, it happened at this time yesterday too. Too bad I have no 'phone to call Comcast with. I left it at Dad's on Saturday and haven't been back to get it yet.
Two movies to return to Georgetown. I think I'll go out and make deliveries now, since otherwise I'm going to be bored out of my mind for the next hour until it comes back up. And I've got to stick around this afternoon or I might miss Watson getting here. Have been ordered by Clarabear, Strayling, and Watson now to read George R.R. Martin. I own A Game of Thrones - someone who shall remain nameless demanded that if I had $10 to spend at amazon.com I had better damn well buy it. I just have to find it, and then I can read all afternoon while I do laundry and suchlike.
11:40 AM. Up, then back down again. I'm going to get dressed and hope I get another 30-second window to post this in.
14:00. It appears to be up, although I wouldn't trust the godsdamned thing.
I went to Dad's, and picked up another carload of boxes - which will now sit in my car while I do all the other things I was supposed to do this morning. Then instead of going to Georgetown and getting guilted into doing something like actually working out, just by being in the mere presence of Curves, I went to the main library's temporary HQ to return my DVD's. And then I got lost.
Lost in the books, in the endless stacks of knowledge, of creativity, of people who had the will and the nerve and the ambition to put something down on paper. I got lost in the stacks, in the row upon row upon row of them. I wandered in at nonfiction, somewhere in the 600's, I think, and just kep walking until I was three rooms over in the fiction (Large Print, Sz) section, breathing in the scent of paper, flickering my eyes over so many titles I could never read them all. Just revelling in the books. Books books books books books.
I only checked one out, and that one because I couldn't resist using the new self-checkout machine the library has. I didn't even look for any of the books on my list to read, I was too busy feeling the paper-dryness and the dust and the endless strings of letters and words and pictures soaking into my skin once more. It was like rediscovery.
I only checked out one book. I came home with a dozen, though, as I browsed through the withdrawals and the books at Twice Sold Tales. Authours with names like familiar friends. Coulter. Cook. Anthony. Cussler. Zelazny. Card. Grafton. This book I have. This one I've given copies of away. I saw Penny at graduation. She still has Timequake. Keep it. Something to remember me by. What good is a book if it isn't shared? I can always get another. I can always find another friend in the stacks, another copy, another tale to tell. Books. Paper. Comforting rustles and memories of nights where sleep was long in coming, lost in fantasy.
The time I finished It, and then realised that the sink in the bathroom leaked. Reading Koontz novels during a storm. Silence of the Lambs alone in an old empty house. Books that have travelled with me through Europe. The little hostels and bed and breakfasts with shelves of paperbacks. Trade them in for new ones. I have Harry Potter in French; Le petit Prince in Japanese, and I lost a Spanish copy of Don Quixote that had illustrations by Gustav Doré when the postal service broke open my box of books on its way home from France and sent them everywhere.
Books I don't know I have. Books I've always dreamed of owning. A list of books to read that spans my entire twenty-four years of life. I read Nancy Drew in kindergarten, when the librarian told me I wasn't old enough to read books off of the Big Kids' shelves. She made me read a passage to her to prove that I could. She's never forgotten me. I've never forgotten discovering a used bookstore on the way home from school. I read Darwin and Shakespeare and Plato before going to bed when I was ten years old. My father read to me at night, Madeleine L'Engle, and when I asked what a word meant he made me break it down to stem and root, name synonyms and syllables. My mother read to me. I couldn't be banished to my room as a child because I had hundreds of books. It was no punishment at all. I won the reading contest at the local library every year. I don't even remember how many books I read in a summer as a child - but my mother can probably still tell you.
I learned to love words then, and to love them still, learned to delve and turn and shape them to my will, to paint with them and to recreate the things that I saw in my mind. In these past two years I had begun to wonder if some subtle treachery had turned them into my bitterest enemies as I studied and strained and grew to hate them at times; but that ugly stain on my mind and soul has been cleansed - erased - obliterated. They are words. They have been my stead and my guide for more than twenty years, since my mother and father first opened a book and began to read to me. They have not turned against me, and they never will.