“Rewriting The Book”
It’s a very simple routine, the basis of an ascetic and austere life, but it’s somehow enough for her. She wakes at dawn, both precisely and absent any intermediary technology between her and the sun, and does thirty minutes of yoga and another thirty minutes of tai chi. She eats the breakfast which has been left outside her door that morning by persons of little to no interest to her and, thus, of even less interest to me, then performs her ablutions in the small bathroom off to the left of the room. Opposite the desk, so to the right of the room as you enter –not that anyone has in years–, is her desk, where the vast majority of her day will be spent today. Today and every other day most likely, and forever too, I suspect, if she could.
The desk is a marvel though; if I had to spend most of every day at a desk I’d want one just like it. At the front it bows inwards like a bay window; a long, deep rectangle with three sections of slanted shelves on which all her typewriters are positioned within reach. They are an anachronism certainly, and an affectation for some, many, most even… But for her they are a compulsion, each printing their katakana and kanji in slightly, minutely, different ways “like the different smiles and frowns on a lover’s face”. Not that she could read those any better than I can read The Book though, or any of the alphabets she writes with, but she’s been alone as long as I’ve known her, and from what I gather she was even more alone before that…
So she sits, as she always does, and from the only shelf in the room she draws down The Book. Not that there’s much in the way of alternatives; There’s only one book on her shelf, technically, even if there are twelve iterations of it already. She has the latest down, reading from it as she types it out and makes another set of changes. The most recent eleven are relatively similar, hand-bound with cardstock covers and numbered on their spines; the oldest is something else, loose sheaves of plain paper covered in a delicate scrawl and held together with thick tape, almost sealed away entirely. Even I’m not sure if she wrote that, or how she came by it if not, and I’m probably the one who she’s been most open with, not that that’s saying much.