good morning good morning —
On the middle rack of the cheaply constructed bookshelf leaning against my apartment wall stand three books: one about delusion and Chaos, another on grief and one that gives me hope.
The first book I had opened one day after a restless night the year before last, at the lone Caffe Nero in Connecticut. I opened Why Fish Don’t Exist to where I had previously left off – Chapter 8.
It was titled On Delusion.
On Delusion and the entirety of the book is an exploration of David Starr Jordan (a taxonomist who supported racial segregation as well as sterilization) and the disruptive force of Chaos.
The book opens: “Chaos is the only sure thing in this world. The master that rules us all.”
Indeed, Chaos had sunk Its claws into me.
With the freshly raw and painful memories of the night before prodding me, I slammed the book shut and threw it against the empty chair opposite me.
I asked myself, How could I be so deluded?
I cursed the comically cruel irony of the sequence. I stared at the book in front of me. I cursed its existence. Even more, I cursed my own delusion.
It would not be many months later until I learned that it was not delusion that Chaos had delivered to me, but grief which, until then, I had only associated with physical death.
I would not open Why Fish Don’t Exist for another 18 months.
It has been sitting on the middle rack of a cheaply constructed bookshelf that leans against one of the walls in my apartment. Immediately to its right is H is for Hawk, a tale about grief which I first read during university. Adjacent to that is The Book of Eels. It is not where it should be, but I still hold onto it. A post-it note pokes out of the pages. It gives me hope.
Three books - Chaos. Grief. Hope.
Tonight I ask myself the same question I did almost two years ago – Am I delusional?
As I rested on the idea of opening Why Fish Don’t Exist once more, Chaos tried to dig its mangled claws into me again. But I would not let it. Though memories remain, Chaos was gone with a simple swipe.
On a Saturday afternoon, at a coffee shop in Arlington, I opened the book to Chapter 8 – On Delusion. I begin reading again.
It took only a few sittings to finish the book and to – quite literally – close one chapter for good.
One night I returned Why Fish Don’t Exist to my bookshelf. As I do, my eyes linger on The Book of Eels.
I ask myself, Am I delusional?
Tonight I think of chaos and fear – a misplaced, fantastical fear.
On the middle rack of my bookshelf there are three books. The first is a book on Chaos that belongs only to the past. Immediately next to that is a book on grief, death and loss.
I pull out the third book, examine the scrawled note inside that Someone Else had written, and I find my answer.
Fitzie’s track of the day: Here Comes the Moon, by George Harrison
And now for your links:
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