18: The Boy With A Glockenspiel Spine

John is concerned. John doesn’t quite know how he feels about being trapped in the library. Every time he tries to think about it, the music seeps into his brain and makes him forget what it was he was trying to think. He feels like someone has spilled correction fluid over the book of him, and all the facts of Who He Is and What He Wants have all been erased. He hopes it isn’t permanent. He thinks.

He is still staring at the revolving doors. The revolving doors that aren’t actually revolving anymore. He wonders if they are still called ‘revolving doors’ after the emergency stop button has been pressed and they have ground to a halt. He wonders if they are just ‘doors’ now.

The revolving door was invented in 1888 by Theophilus von Kammel.

This fact presents itself from somewhere deep in John’s brain. And then there is just the music again, such lovely music.

John imagines the life he will live inside the library perimeter with Katerina. Until now, he has always been a man of words, but he knows he will hunt and forage for this woman if he has to. He will crawl on his knees to let her know he means business, that he is as much of a man as Bob is. He feels the music creep along his vertebrae as he lowers himself to the floor. He sounds like a glockenspiel. My bones are becoming one with the music, John thinks. He wonders if there is a name for that.

He can see Katerina across the library. She is smiling in a way that says, I Love You John, I Love Only You. This plays to the tune of Three Blind Mice along John’s spine.

John knows he is still a book, deep down. But now he feels like the book has hollow parts, and he can’t quite remember what was in those spaces. The music echoes through the emptiness inside him, banging into childish drawings of hearts and half-remembered lists of Edible Plants Of The British Isles.

John! What the pigging hell are you doing down on all fours!? Get up you great lump!

John’s music stops for a second as he registers Bob’s voice, but he finds it hard to focus on the sweaty man in front of him. He wants to sink back down into the part of the book where there is a nice picture of blackberries, but Bob grabs him under the armpits and yanks him upwards.

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