Would the adventures of Huck Finn be the same now as they were when I was younger, or would I even know the difference? I picked up the paperback copy and thumbed through the long introduction thinking of college courses and how you always either had to or felt you needed to read the introductions before starting in on the text. Maybe the extra insight would help in class, I remember thinking, but it rarely did. The copy I was thumbing through was actually a copy I had used in school. It sat in one of the several stacks of books against the wall in my bedroom, ready to be packed up and moved to another place. One day I’ll get a bookshelf. Or maybe I’ll end up getting rid of all the books and only read magazines and nonfiction stories about adventures that really happened to real people. Or maybe I’ll get rid of all my books and just stop reading all together. Maybe something new would happen with my life if I got my head out of all those books that have kept me so distracted and disillusioned with tangible reality for much of my life. Sometimes I feel that books have held me at arms-length from a right path of career-family-stability, but the real reasons for my struggles are most likely deep-rooted and mine to own. I shouldn’t blame books for all that.
But I would like to write a book, a fiction novel. Just one I think. Then I could be a part of that breed, the writers, who wave their arms at the multitude of us from the shore as they sail over the breakers. That shady crowd of tricksters. Imagine living your whole life on Earth with your head somewhere else like those jokers do. Like having more than one life. I’d like to mingle in that crowd for a second or two, then let reality pull me back, a hard comedown.
Maybe I’ll read Huck Finn again or another one I’ve forgotten just for something to do while I wait.