if this were yesterday, my fingertips and shirtsleeves would be dribbled with red and black ink
probably I’d even have ink on my shoes
my eyesight would be even worse than it is now, because my glasses would be decades older than they are now
perhaps scribbling, from time to time, in the margins
foolishly trying to leave some stamp on the leaves of time, as they turn turn turn down the years
Sherlock Holmes would know in an instant what I did all day, without resorting to calluses or blood samples
even Watson would have no trouble at all
perhaps I’d have twelve books to my name, saving all my extra funds for number thirteen
but what books would I buy with such a small pittance? would I stalk the halls of history or pounce upon the starving poets, gnaw upon their bones?
Or would I rather wait, breathing hard, for the last Dickens or Eliot serial to arrive by steamer boat?
feel that breathlessness as some new thing comes rolling off the presses in scores of numbers
are they seditious pamphlets bent on undermining those prone to lording?
are they playbills for the scintillating actors ballooning across the stages of the town?
are they posters promoting the latest mail-by craze?
just be glad there are others who slop the glue