Jun 142011





Here is Court Merrigan channeling Ecclesiastes on the subject of books and our common Fate, a stern reminder.







by Court Merrigan


When I moved my family back to the US from Thailand in 2009, I left two bookcases worth of books stranded in the tropics. Last month we went back. The two years have not been kind.

Here is a six-year-old copy of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country For Old Men:


This paperback is being eaten alive by some orange tropical mold.

This edition of Best American Stories 2004, also six years old, made of sterner stuff, fared better:


Here are the tops of the two books compared:


I rescued a couple suitcases of these books. They’ll fare better in arid highland Wyoming, relatively speaking. But ultimately they’re merely rat middens in the making, too.

Everything we write turns to dust or displaced electrons.

— Court Merrigan

  12 Responses to “DUST OR DISPLACED ELECTRONS by Court Merrigan”

  1. I’ve never seen orange mold. What is that?

  2. I have no idea, or if it’s even mold. But it sure is chewing up that book at a furious rate.

    • And you brought it to America?????

      • When we got to Customs, the guy asked why my suitcase was so heavy, what was in it? “Books,” I said. “Oh,” he said, and moved us on with a disgusted wrist flick. So, if I have started a zombie book plague, blame Customs.

  3. oh, i definitely got that orange moldy thing on a lot of my old books.

    • Definitely, this is beginning to sound like a literary sci fi novel, either that or an issue Homeland Security has missed.

      No orange mold at my place. I could send some mildew though.

  4. Dg, as a member in good standing of the ultra-birther faction, surely there is something you can be doing about this new threat to the Homeland.

    • Believe me, I have filed the appropriate papers and the Black Helicopters of Doom should be hovering over your house momentarily. I think the general policy is to drop a cluster of napalm bombs and then irradiate the location with high intensity x-rays. I am told you won’t feel a thing. But the orange mold will be gone. It was nice knowing you. 🙂

  5. I like that this piece is tagged with “mortality.”

  6. I’m sure Court’s orange mold will survive the napalm and x-rays although nothing else will. Maybe add immortality to the tags?

    • Perhaps the x-rays will make the mold sentient … and with a lust for vengeance. Watch out, Ultra-Birthers!

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