I know what they think when I pass.

Who is that girl with the book in the hand? What does she scribble all the time? What does she write in the rain, between the drink and the meal, after the bus ride, before the jump in the lagoon?

They will never know. They will never follow me home. Never see the shelves that start from the doorway, filled with many-coloured books with dates on their spines; shelves that snake their way through my small room made big by the books that bloat it.

For I know what I think when I pass: the bricks of my days need this mortar of ink-on-paper, accurately mixed, to hold me together. If I do not write me down, then I live in vain. Then I go to pieces. My notebooks with the dates on their spines are my life, collected in sentient bowls.

Gathered in leaves.

They see my slow pace and judge me for a simpleton. That is also good. They do not know, will not see, how much of the manic pace of daily life is owed to the overhanging memories from yesterday. I remember no yesterdays. They erase as I sleep and all I have on their morrows are a newly-rinsed mind and my many-coloured notebooks with dates on their spines. Today I leave home with notebook 90, started last month, filled with thirty days of passers-by passing by and staring. I wear my half-smile that half-recognises everyone, ready to go all the way at a signal from another face.

I don’t get any signals these days.

And I know what they think when I pass.

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