Entering the House of Leaves

It is a pain in the ass.

To clarify, I am talking about that book I received, House of Leaves. I started reading – or should I say, decoding – it the other night. Almost everything in this book is layered with messages to uncover, and it is also very unsettling. I do not recommend reading this by a dark window, shades still drawn from admiring the sunset, with only the solemn ticking of a clock to keep you company. You’ll catch a glimpse of yourself in the window and think the House has come for you now.

After I picked the book up (having flung it across the parlor in terror of my own reflection), I decided I needed to stop for the night. But, of course, I could not stop thinking about it! There are a number of frustrating things about it (i.e., the bizarre layout of text, Johnny’s drug filled sex-capades, and tedious rabbit trails), but I found something eerily familiar within the ciphers and endless footnotes.

As I grow older, my mind is becoming less and less my own. Age has a funny way of moving into your mind, unpacking its belongings atop your own memories, and making itself so at home you begin to forget what was there before it moved in. It’s like a dark, endless corridor, spiraling down until you forget why you walked down that corridor to begin with, until you lose your sense of self.

I feel weirdly sympathetic for Navidson and his friends. Of course, they want to know what is behind the mysterious door, but the psychological journey that occurs is not pleasant. While my nice, little home here in Italy does not have suddenly-appearing rooms and shifting dimensions, I feel as though I can relate to their experiences in the house, only mirrored in my own deteriorating mind.

Age is a damn terrible roommate, that’s for sure.

(PS: That book collector’s First Folio was a hoax, and so crudely forged I would be ashamed to ever try and pass it off as anything more than garbage!)