When I see myself ten years from now, I see a house in the middle of nowhere.
No, I see a studio apartment—unnecessary space makes me nervous.
I’ll live with a chocolate Labrador and my dog Zero (who will go down as the longest living animal ever). I see a plethora of blankets laid across desk chairs and my bed. I see candles burning. I see a big bean bag where a couch should be and my laptop sitting in it. I don’t see the wood floors because the rugs that look like fur from wild animals are covering it.
In the middle of this studio apartment there will be a handmade bookshelf, a humble necessity, against the wall with at least too many books to count.
In my perfect world, there will be a top-to-bottom bookcase where one of those ladders with wheels is needed, and that ladder will be my sole form of transportation. It’ll take me to the bathroom, to the kitchen, to other worlds outside of my own.
In my perfect world, I’ll be established enough to just lie down and read all day without feeling bad about it.
In my reality, I buy books and never have time to read them. I hoard them in my room and let them stack themselves on top of one another.
In my reality, there are over 600 books in my Amazon cart, and every time someone offers to buy me something, I pick off titles one by one. Every day a book is mentioned to me that has changed someone’s life, and I search for it, hoping that it’ll change mine too.
I feel the need to buy books over food—I am fed in more ways than one.
I keep one in my bag at all times. Right now it is The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X and Alex Haley, but I haven’t even opened it.
In reality I’ve read How To Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America more than ten times but cannot get through Notes of a Native Son in its entirety once, and I’m wondering what is wrong with me. They both place weights on my chest.
In reality, I don’t think Ernest Hemingway is that great and they tell me I should, so I’m wondering what is wrong with me.
In reality, I hate the “classics.” I don’t like boring books with excessively grandiose language. I do not need Jane Austen or F. Scott Fitzgerald. I need them to make me cry or make me laugh. I need people to die, and I’m wondering what is wrong with me.
In a perfect world, I would be a librarian. I’ll organize the shelves and I’ll sit and read with my glasses (to make me feel more official), and I’ll wait until I meet a child who has a passion for words. I’ll give them book recommendations and we’ll explore the shelves together for the rest of the day.
If I had to pick a way to die, I would be suffocated by words. I’d be murdered by my favorite authors. I’ll die with a pen in my hand because I failed to replicate their brilliance.
In a perfect world, I would already own a bookstore.
In a wealthy world, I would build a library branch.
In a smart world, I would only buy people books for their birthdays and Christmases.
In reality, people don’t read anymore and I’m just wasting my time trying to write for them, wasting my time trying to make them.