Books Locked Away From The Universe


And on the way to Diamond Rocks; walk past the cliff mounted houses with their little postcard rooms, their relics of some tragically harmless English dream of leisurely decency. It is a little spoken irony that most of Ireland’s seaside resorts were actually planned and built by the Brits.

The holiday houses have wide shop windows proferring you the trinket: some befuddled notion of easy domesticity right beside the wild, frothing, murderous Atlantic. At the very least, they try to entice you into a kind of vague, blowsy confusion, like wandering into a room and being pleasantly unable to remember why you are there, or what your own name is.
My eye settled on one little bookshelf, standing all regimental to one side of a cheap bright parquet floor. It was tightly wedged with what I imagine were slowly yellowing 1970’s paperbacks, the information inside them temporarily locked off from a Universe that long ago whizzed past them at light speed.
Maybe the books awaited the kiss of some fantastically bored adolescent, someone himself temporarily closed off from his own Universe of porny digitalia and reconstituted violence. The prince would come: idly sniffing about for some nugget of antique smut, attracted by the pictures on the front, which most publishers wouldn’t get away with today. How did they do it in those days?
The bookshelf is one of our information black holes. If Stephen Hawking is right – and how could I begin to contradict him – then no information is ever permanently lost to the Universe. It is simply compressed, spaghettified as it were, into some unintelligible new form, a closed and crumbling book awaiting the magic kiss of some horny Champollion.
No one has scanned the detail of Sasha’s steamy tryst on a Monte Carlo yacht owned by the Sheikh of Qumar for decades now. Many years have passed since anyone was moved by Mr X and his waning libido, driven to almost death by the daily parade of near naked beauties just yards from the beach house where he’s trying to write his final novel, but while the Universe exists, there is always at least a mathematical possibility – less and less as the years go by to be sure – that a teenager’s idle lust might make them speak to the world once more.

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