missed pages

Slept in my high school bedroom. It’s one of my aunts’ right now. Since she’s on trip so she let me use her room for the meantime. The room has undergone minor renovations. There’s  different mattress encased in the wooden bed frame with a floral carvings on the headboard. I realized how much taller I’ve grown and how much I missed this room, especially the musty scent of old books in the bookshelf seemingly hovering.

During high school, I could locate novels easily. One just needed to tell me the story and I’ll know where to get the book. Books were arranged by author and genre. Tom Clancy’s were on the left side of the shelf, together with thrillers and crime books. Period romance novels were usually found on the rightmost part of shelf. In the middle of the shelf is the most highly recommended titles. These are the stories often re-read. No specific author there. Just the best stories. The old Mills and Boons pocketbooks have been boxed. We kept acquiring new books and we were running out of space. The Mills and Boons had to go to storage. I did plan on going through them to take my favorite stories back to Los Baños. Never happened. Next time, perhaps.

Half a wall of books – that’s the last thing I see before falling asleep at night and what greets me first thing in the morning. There were no DVDs or TV series or laptop during high school. These novels kept the bedside lamp on until morning. Sometimes I could finish two novels in one evening, their stories awkwardly combining in my dreams. I hate leaving a book unfinished. I have the tendency to forget where I stopped. I’d need to review almost half of the previous chapter to get the sense of the story. I’d rather finish it than waste time rereading pages. Most of the time, I’d find the books on the floor or somewhere at the side of the bed, pages all crumpled or folded. Some writers have the talent to lull you to sleep.

A whole afternoon spent in the room with a wide selection of stories, that was a luxury I wish I could still enjoy. In all places I’ve lived in, there’s always a stack of books or a shelf of novels. Home is never home without some pages to lose oneself in.


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