مرحبا عليكم!

I study languages.

Monday, September 9, 2013

너를 보낼게

I wait in the textbook line anxiously, receipt in hand, slowly inching up to the front for my turn. When it comes I hand the lady my book, A History of Ancient Egypt--my book, the one with the glossy cover, the one with the author who drones on and on, the one with the black-and-white pictures and the tiny serif text. Carelessly, she scans you through to re-credit my card and tosses you aside, asking for my ID. Unexpected guilt catches me off guard as you leave her hands, coming to rest somehow sad and alone on the stool by her desk. My book.

I'm so sorry, book. I adopted you, picked you out specially from a pile of similar texts, kept you safe until we got home. You rode in my backpack. I brought you to my house and thumbed through your pages like you were mine. I read part of Chapter One and penciled in little underlines just so I could remember you. But I have to be honest with myself. You are expensive and not all that interesting and I cannot afford to keep you. Even so, I hope someone else takes you home and loves you, that you end up on a bookshelf somewhere where children will hold you and finger your pages and smear the ink on the Temple of Hatshepsut, somewhere when your reader will catch sight of you from the shelf after a long month of work and blow the dust from your spine, disappearing for a second into tombs and texts and temples. I hope you're going to be all right.

[If I had more time I would write an adoption or abortion analogy, and you wouldn't find out I was talking about a book until the end. One day.]

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