page 176 – still in the library

I took out my small compact powder out of my jacket pocket. I clipped it open and looked into the little mirror in the lid. My face glowed sickly pale under the fluorescent lights. Winter pale.  I clipped the lid down, got up from my chair and stepped into U – Z. As I had expected, there was no one there. Velasquez, Varese and The Venetian School, gigantic volumes, with soft, yellow pages lingered pompously yet with a limp attitude between smaller books, waiting to be released from the boredom of their shelf lives. This is what immortality means, I thought, sitting on a shelf as an afterthought to your own life. Maybe to be lifted down every few years to be perused briefly for some kids’ art assignment.  I touched the laminated, slightly deformed backs with my fingers. Books do not endure lamination well, a laminated book resembles a plastic covered sofa. One cannot enjoy it. I apologized to the volumes that were sighing with age and discontent …

I have been working on this novel for a while now. There are passages that I really love, snippets, impressions that convey the atmosphere I want to create. There is also, almost surprisingly, some real plot (unusual for me) and a couple of protagonists I can vividly picture like I can picture friends. The novel could be read as science fiction – or it could be an account of a delusion. I don’t quite know which one it is, but so far it could coherently be read as either and it will depend on the conclusion to point in one direction or the other. Any kind of science fiction could of course be an account of the protagonist’s delusions if one chose to read it like that. This is one reason I chose the genre for this particular coming-of-age story in the first place. Another one is that I have been craving for a playing field for my interest in ephemeral science and have been having a ball researching and reading up on all kinds of science projects with marginal news interest from marine bioluminescence to quantum physics to astronomy.

 

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