When a person’s hair begins to fall out, teeth loosen, nail beds become unmoored, it is not intentional. Clearing out a closet. That’s intentional. Why, then, does it feel like my sudden compulsion to shed books is more like a virus than a decision? After years of collecting them, I can’t get rid of them fast enough. They are in piles on the floor, boxes and bags, tentatively labelled Friends of the Library, West Florida Literary Federation, University of West Florida English Department.
No more writing craft books. If I can’t write my way out of a paper bag, then I’ll cut windows in the bag and get cozy. But if I can, then it will be on my own Holy Grail treasure map written on the paper bag, unglued, cut up, painted yellow and turned into a brick road leading to created worlds.
These walls of books have closed in, gotten pushy, put a pillow over my face. It took years for this fever to break. The stacks are outside my door now, and I’ve washed down the shelves, the walls, and steam-cleaned my brain.
That’s better. Now I can breathe.