A story for Robin Stevenson
“a person who loves books; a bookworm; a parasite that consumes books’ physical contents”
I am sated; full, brimming with the language of love, lust, anger, fear, murder and mayhem.
Each tasty morsel has consumed me as I have consumed it. Hours, days pass and I see and feel nothing but that of the printed page. Hunger for the word has hidden the world from me, and me from the world. I can now leave my place, my secret place, my place of wonder and wishing, for a while.
Words surround me, filling my consciousness with the sweet honey nectar of learning, understanding, perceiving. I experience so many lives, so many journeys, through the pulped trees which give their lives for my joy. Not just in the pages of other worlds, but in the everyday mundanity of the street sign, the advertising hoarding, the menu and the email.
Joy when social media erupted across my face, direct intravenous bloating of my brain with words immediately accessible and constantly updated. I no longer fear the moment my feeble body is unable to carry the weight of a new tome; I can carry a library in my pocket on a lightweight e-reader.
I am a word slut (positive word, I reclaim it), a collector of definition and syllable. I have favourites, many favourites, always changing and constantly updating, but am loyal to the most dedicated of those whose sounds and meanings are seared into my mind.
Serendipity – starting gently, rising up with hope and happiness and ending with a hop, skip and a jump; joyous and inviting.
Susurrus – smooth, snakelike, sliding around the tongue as a lover invited to give and take, whispering and curving around my mouth and into my brain.
Onomatopoeia – says what it means and means what it says and says what it does and does what it says and circles around and around in a glorious whirl of definition; it makes me giddy.
More words, sentences, structures, intricate and telling, simple and complicated, hanging like overripe fruit ready to fall into my gaping maw.
I leave my home. I walk the streets, going where I need to go and devouring the gifts my world shows me. “One Way Street” – words are the only way; “Menu” – food for the eyes and stomach, “Entrance” and “Exit” – promises of places unexplored and new doors to walk, run, throw myself through. The signs in supermarkets engage my eyes and lead me to unseasoned pleasures. I am tempted, and temptation leads me on. An onanistic orgy of exploration within soft and hard covers awaits me and I am impatient.
I return to my womb, my home, my library. Walls lined and decorated with the pornography of my desire. Pages softly turned, caressed and stroked by my lovers hand. I curl up. I am surrounded by all I need and I will take it slowly and quickly, as my desire is formed. The lines of fonts and handwritten script, letters and books and all that exists, created for me and by me as I take it all in. I will feast, I will gorge, I will devour. I will be made fat by the written word and I will be sated again and again. I am the Bibliophage.