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AleArte – decorative bookends

A Brown Owl for Monika’s story

I reach for the recently opened package. A new cigarette comes into my hand. I don’t really remember when I learnt to hold a cigarette like this. Deeply, between the forefinger and the middle one. When I inhale, I tend to cover my lips with my hand like I do when I yawn. This is a little bit pretentious, but when I need to get something, my fingers have a relative freedom.

I used to hold a cigarette in my right hand, together with a pen. This way I could smoke and write, although never simultaneously. I moved it to the left hand. Such a simple procedure that let me reconcile the two activities. Genius. I lit another one. I inhale once and twice. The smoke spreads out from the lungs to the ends of my toes. It always makes me wonder how quickly I can feel the nicotine work. In a grey fog that fills up the room, a blue ribbon winds its way from the glowing cigarette towards the bookcase.

“She asked Monika. Monika, not me. And why? Because she has a good style? Because I am supposed to write about something else? Or maybe just because it isn’t professional. Because you have to pay for work, and I am not worth a plugged nickel. Never mind, I wouldn’t accept a single penny anyway. I have already got my reward.” I follow with my eyes the blue smudge that is blown away near the bookshelves. Multicoloured spines stand at attention, held in place by an owl, a spider and a clover leaf.

I remember some time ago the far end books used to slant bearing other ones. Sometimes one or two of them would suddenly collapse starting a real Domino Day. Books would fall down rumbling dreadfully. Many a time some ornaments fell down along with the books. Almost always, or even always, books from the upper shelves pulled those from lower levels so that a bigger part of the contents of the bookcase would land on the floor. The worst would happen when the disaster hit at night or while I was writing. After all, I usually wrote at night. The noise put me off my stroke completely. On no occasion was I able to finish what had been interrupted like that. I don’t know if it was some kind of magic, but I had to start from scratch. At that time I didn’t finish much of my writing. Not to mention the nights with A. Then the books would fall down too… I don’t even want to remember that. I am not quite sure whether this was the reason why A. started to create bookends.

At first there were several shy motifs – a clover, flowers, a guitar, and the NAZCA series – a spider, a humming-bird, a monkey. The supports, as she used to call them, did very well. They are awesome. I have been given a few prototypes. Now the books sit in a straight row. They do not even move. A hanging spider scares them with his Indian background. Separating one author from another one, a clover peeps out shyly from the middle of the row. A brown owl, the symbol of wisdom inseparably connected with books, examines everything from the heights. This owl is supposed to go to Monika for her story. I think it is a fair remuneration, especially for a bibliophile who is in constant danger of getting buried under her expanding book collection. This owl is a prototype too. It’s a pity that I have to part with it, but it is not the end of the world, I guess. I know that the owl is going to fly into good hands and that it is going to land on a good bookshelf. It will not be wasted. It should be happy, and so should Monika. And I hope that A. will be happy too. I already am.

I shake the ash from my cigarette. “Even ashes don’t fall down on their own,” I think, and smile to A. coming into the room.

Designs protected by the registered Community Designs Nos 002000695-0001, 002000695-0002, 002000695-0003; Copyright © Alearte 2021

Projekt jest współfinansowany przez Unię Europejską w ramach środków Europejskiego Funduszu Rozwoju Regionalnego

Projekt współfinansowany przez Unię Europejską z Europejskiego Funduszu Rozwoju Regionalnego oraz z budżetu państwa. Fundusze Europejskie dla rozwoju regionu łódzkiego