Nonfiction

A Table with Legs

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Its funny. When I was a child, the little library in our home was the room I feared the most. Not because of what it contained with all the rows of books, but because of a table that stood in the middle of it.

It had, and has, legs that looked, and look, like the paws of a lion or a tiger or some other animal. And I could not dare to go into our library alone. The same one I am writing in now, alone.

It seemed like a ghost was standing behind my back with a knife raised and its shadow lingering along my back. The paws on the floor: they are still there. It felt as if the table would lift its toes and start moving toward me with hastily steps until it ... I don’t know. And that table still stands here today, or sits here today. And I feel nothing for it.

Perhaps, that was what sparked my curiosity, and love for libraries. Or rather, it should have set a fear in me for libraries. Or...the table was a part of the breathing soul of the books in the library, like a tomb, a holy one, with all the thoughts of women and men long lost and dead and their thoughts buried here; as well as the stilled, sculpted tiger.

Now I look around here, and I see those books with their bindings decorated more or less; with pictures, illustrations, or text; mostly text. And all I can think of is what moves inside their bindings. Binded to the text. For, isnt it so, that the stories within the books only use the text as their binding, their medium, and really they say so much more that isnt written. Some of that may be written too, but have to be understood by thought or without thought. A complex subject, is it not?

Perhaps I thought the same with the table. That the feet contained life, life that I feared, but not because it was scary or hurtful. But because I did not understand it. I was uncertain about it. And what we are uncertain about we fear, do we not? A journey it is.

At this moment I might only be eighteen years of age, but I feel as if my soul has lived longer, or rather thought for much longer. Yet have its true age of eighteen. Maybe I just think a lot, and that is my curse as well as my virtue.

But then again, I think we all feel this, time rushing by fast; we all think more than we say outward, do we not? Most people only bury their thoughts beneath other thoughts of disregard and fear. As do I. And as do you. And as do we. As do all humans regardless of creed.

And perhaps the library is the tomb for all those fears and thoughts. For you, for me, and for us all; Hemingway, Karin Boye, Dorothy Parker, Ray Bradbury, Steinbeck.

I feared the legs of that table, and still that table stands here, behind me today, but its shadow is gone and buried in the tomb of the masses, in the tomb that I stay.

Viktor Aronsson

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Stockholm, Sweden

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