I can't sleep.
I can't sleep, and I can't drink any tea because then I won't be able to later, and that's actually worse because I love tea, and I'm running out and I have to get some more later, near Covent Garden where I found a shop that sells me Pu-Erh nests. It's almost two o'clock in the morning and I can't sleep.
If I were awake the normal way I wouldn't actually be writing this, which is funny because I can tell and I still don't stop. Maybe I'll stop. We'll see.
I actually was sleeping, and I woke up and couldn't fall back asleep. So I went up instead, because I hate tossing in bed, and now I'm sitting at the table and looking twitchily to the left, where the tea caddies are lined up on the shelf, largely empty even though now there are only seven, and I got two of them just this weekend. One, one of the new ones, has a black tea blend in it which is delicious and which if I were more pretentious than I already am I would probably be ashamed of liking, because it's a fruit blend, but bitch please. No time for that on the third orb. I especially can't drink that because black tea is the wakiest. The problem is intractable, you see?
The shelf is otherwise almost full but occupied mainly with containing things that aren't books; I bought the Everyman's Library edition of Moby-Dick last weekend too and it brings the total of actual books to nine. I also have the best of my comics with me, and those are... I dunno, maybe fifteen? Twenty? A large brick of Finder, four albums of Cités Obscures, one of Corto Maltese. Sam 'n' Max. A few more.
These were two thousand volumes all together in the old country, six crammed bookcases and some stacks besides. They still are in a way, they're mine, but they're in dry storage in a shipping container in some warehouse, in a different country over the sea. Cumbersome luggage for a man in flight.
Sometimes I look at the shelf and I make a sweeping gesture compassing it and I think, I don't dare say it out loud since I am a lodger now and the landlord might think that I am off my chump and the location is real good so I don't want to risk it, but I think, »Here is all that is left of the glorious Fargas collection«, and that alone should brand me as irreparable because I thought that movie was good up until it decided to turn idiot, and I thought that book was good mainly for having the engravings in there, otherwise it was mostly Arturo showing off his bibliophilia and what do I need that for, I mean, really, fucking come on, don't you think I have a translation of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili in my shelf?
No, not anymore. I used to, but not anymore. It's in a box, in a box, in a house, in a fenced forest of factories, in a cold hell near the top of the world, hidden as surely as the life of Koschchei the Deathless.
The total list of books in Clockmaker's house:
But... I never slept well in the Old Country.
Labyrinths, Jorge Luis Borges, ed. Irby/Yates, Penguin Modern Classics
Le Morte Darthur, Thomas Malory, Norton Critical Edition following the Winchester Manuscript as far as possible
The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton, vol. 6, G.K. Chesterton, Ignatius Press, re-bound by hand
The Complete Father Brown, ibid., Penguin
Moby-Dick, Herman Melville, Everyman's Library
Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu, Feng/English translation
Chuang Tzu, Inner Chapters, Chuang Tzu, Feng/English translation
Book of Chuang Tzu, ibid., Palmer/Breuilly translation (this one contains the complete work)
Peter and Wendy, J.M. Barrie, 5th Edition, Nov. 1911
I made the pot of tea. It's green, with mint, at three AM. It is delicious.