books are dangerous things, not to be left out where children can reach them and harm themselves, or perhaps others standing in the vicinity when it goes off. they sit ticking on forgotten shelves or on bed stands, left to impress other that happen to see, into believing you actually read them. tick. tick. tick. they wait.
at eight, i had my first near death experience with a book. one afternoon, parents out working the garden, i tilled the soil of my imagination on the latest Tom Swift adventure, or Tolkien. i read so long, words began to swirl before my eyes. i screamed. i could no longer see. blind, i staggered across the room, from the couch, turning over tables, spilling lamps until i ran into the wall. it did not fall, i did.
face creased by an inverted door jam, i followed my fingers along walls. door. hall. bookshelf, ah, i pulled back afraid of what else they might do to me, but i found the back door and yelled, "I am blind! I am blind! help me." the books were laughing i am sure, but they gave me my sight back shortly. i think they were just trying to warn me.
in college, i went to see a friend, at mary washington, and we went to see a movie, they were showing on campus, to expand the mind. the cook, the thief, his wife and her lover. a mob bosses wife is having an affair with a reader. you can see the trouble already , books. when they are caught the goons kill him by making him eat pages from his books, then when she finds his body, she serves it for dinner to her husband. what a screwed up movie.
books are dangerous things, because if you find the right book, it will ruin your life. its ideas will crawl across the page and curl like a twisted knot of snakes in your mind, until like Alexander you slice it open. unwinding, it only spreads, reinforcing backbones, fidgeting fingers, as it infects your heart. revolution. revolution. REVOLUTION. it chants like an angry mob, set for crucifixion, for your soul.
jekyll to hyde, as you clean the cup from the inside. page after page the words bleed red and before you know it you are ready to die, for another. unless, of course, you read with a twist, thinking it's all about how you get ahead, or suck the life out of your homosexual neighbor. no, you realise, it is not about you, but it is.
it's only a book. but this book. this book. this book. is dangerous. if only, you read it.
be careful young reader, the Book...it is waiting.