Chowing down on a novel. There were words all over his lips. which he wiped with the back of his hand, and saw some Joycean gobbledegook there.
Last week it had been Basho haikus and he had almost starved. He survived the week on the dissected carcass of Eliot’s Wasteland, cutting through its deep metatextual meat, into wordstream undercurrents. Grail blood bubbling up with the seeds of future dreams — you could taste tomorrow sometimes.
Carvey had been peddling secondhand books right under the noses of the Fahrenheiters. He’d sometimes stage meetings at 4:51 just to mess with them. Some of them saw it, but they considered him a kook and not worth bothering with. But if you are getting information out you are dangerous. People had paid for what they called Conceptual Digestion Systems — you didn’t have to have the learning to hotwire your mental facilities when the Digestion Systems would break it down into morphemes you could process.
People got smarter through their dealings with Carvey. Was it the best way to learn? Wasn’t the ‘old natural’ the best thing? Sure. But the poor had been priced out of the education market — this shit they could manage though.
Cheap paperbacks were do much better because the hardbacks might hurt the teeth. The electronic libraries had all closed, because there was data there that could raise a person up, and thos in charge didn’t want anyone raised up. Book stocks were dangerous contraband that could get you life,and there wasn’t going to be any chilling in a cell and educating yourself. Books were a no go on the inside.
Carvey knew people that had studied under Imams to learn the tricks to memorise the books. Much like those who retained the literature in Bradbury’s book. Fahrenheit 451 was a calling card. You saw someone with a copy of that then you knew. Reading Clubs were now replaced with word eateries, which were buried like speakeasies in the subtext of the cities. It was like a shared high, but purer — you were awake, not doping off afterwards.
The StopCop was after him, and had legs — most of them were donut soft and mouthgawp slow, but this fucker could run, and Carvey was worried that he was going to get taken off the street. Readers would be lost with out being able to do lines. He had to flip the script.He was wearing Kanga-ruse and they let him jump onto the side of the building and start into a rapid velcro-fly climb. The cop was gravity bound and frustrated. The book bag carrier would live to drop knowledge for another day. A couple more blocks and he was there. A Reader opened the door, smiled at him, and hugged him — a thing he often experienced. People really did love to read.