You like to knock books from our shelves. You pry them loose, hold them for a few minutes, taste them and then let them slide to the floor. On to your next paper prey.

Sometimes you start tearing up one.

Your mum will ask: ‘Is that one we want?’

And I will say: ‘No, it’s just Herman Brusselmans.’

She: ‘Oh, that’s ok then. I thought he had his hands on Philip Roth.’

Herman Brusselmans is living proof that you only have to be the first guy to flaunt long hair on television and talk with some sort of subdued energy to become a literary marvel. I remember his first television appearances. I thought he was cool. Never really warmed to his books though.

You seem to share my opinion, since you tore up one of his books. Good job. Nobody was ever going to read it. And there is no student I want to punish by bestowing it on him or her.

You start smiling every time I hold you up in front of the book shelf. Eventually you commit a massacre. And your victims are strewn all over the carpet. Soaked in literature.

I did the same as a baby, but with my father’s tapes of sixties music.

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