The Life and Times of a Poor Bibliophile

He stared at her deformed toes, waggling nervously before the shabby couch, in which her lump body had sunk away. Her frowned face stared puzzled at the crossword she had found to occupy herself with. A fire ball of hate welled up in his guts simply watching her. He turned to the book shelves in the living room, her living room, and felt relieved, deeply felt inner joy, the sight of these books gave him an overwhelming pleasure. The fact was that she had the best bookshelves of anyone he knew. Although now, she was a repulsive mass of thoughtless babble, she once, as a student, had been a promising Lacanian psycho-analyst. Her shelves were filled with surrealist literature, existentialist plays, and works by Lacan and Freud. But in the last ten years she had not read a single book of interest anymore, indulging in the mediocre life of a routine-filled job as an editor for a psychological magazine. Georges counted the backs of the books he had lined up in the top right shelves. All the other books he had read already in the long years since they had met. Thirty-two to go, he whispered. He never had loved her, he found no sexual attraction in her body, in her dull eyes, he hated kissing her thin lips, but once a week he kissed those horrid lines in her face. Thirty-two times ten, three-hundred and twenty days, one more year, he crossed the lines in the imaginary wall of the prison of his relationship with her, then he would be free of her, having read all the books in her library, free to leave.

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