“… do the good duty of getting done what you are supposed to during the day. You will then have a reason to give yourself the reward of wine at evening.” Harry Mathews
I finally finished “20 Lines a Day” and indeed partook in such reward. This book in itself was like sipping an excellent wine. Each day I tried to read just one entry before bed so I can savor the book longer. Mathews is so human. Usually, when you think of tremendous talents, you imagine them being superbeings detached from the minutiae of everyday life. You forget that they are just as imperfect and just as insecure and full of doubts like you (most of them anyway). Reading Mathews accounts of his day and feelings and thoughts was resonating strongly and inspiring looking into my own self. So many lines about feelings that I could have written in regards to my self had I such a talent. For example, the passage about darkness, “I discover that the inside of my head contains not warmth, light, and busting life but darkness and emptiness” is precisely what I discover every time depression burrs its claws into me. Such afflictions are strange as during their times you think that you are the only one with it and no one possibly could feel the same way or understand how you feel. It is reassuring and perhaps even happy to have a reminder you are not the only one.
Anyways, finishing the book is accompanied by a bit of sadness. However, nothing says that the book cannot continue to live on my bedside table and be revisited over and over again. Afterall, that’s why earmarked pages exist. Like an outbound and then returning trains, they invite revisits.