Book #224

(Garret says): When you're traveling, it's hard to find the right atmosphere to write. I had been on the road for ten days, when I found this quiet, quaint pub in Dubai––with an open seat right next to the bookshelf. For 8 hours straight, I sat there catching up on letters, emails, solitude; scanning the books when I needed a break. Each book had its own story. Some were signed and addressed to various people who had lived in the 50s or 60s. I wondered about their history; their expeditions across borders, seas, and decades. How many hands had held these books? How many hearts had the books held in return? Were the scars on their covers from use or misuse? For how long were they imprisoned in a box or a dark corner, dusty and deprived of the light and warmth of an eye? I wanted to know the footsteps of Frankenstein, the wanderings of Middlemarch, the odyssey of The Odyssey.

Though I may never find these answers, I felt their presence. Beneath the dust and faded ink, I could see the fingerprints of an untold story.

And who would come after me? Could I greet a future stranger with a gift from the past? I was intrigued to try. A small gesture of gratitude. From Helena to Dubai. From one weary traveler to the next. From me to you––whenever, wherever, whoever you are.