The Infidels den…

There is a feeling I wish to describe:

Sometimes, late at night, in the summer months, when the sky is dark-purple, and the bedroom window lets in a little breeze, I like to sit down on the sofa, with a lamp casting its golden beam, on a book. On a book that I know would have been banned not more than 300 years ago. Ahh! To hold such a book in my hand, as the hour strikes midnight, as the owl flutters outside, and as the leaves rustle gently – to hold such a forbidden text in my hand – knowing that they (the censors) can’t touch me. Knowing that in another time and in another place, I would have been killed for reading this book – Ahhh! Such is a guilty pleasure and thrill I cannot describe!

In such moments, on that sofa, I let my imagination free, and I pretend – yes I pretend – that I am an aged white-haired scholar in a medieval Spanish city in AD 1548 – and outside the Inquisition is busy burning heretics on the stake and the bubonic plague spreading across the land. That I, if caught, would also be burned alive by the authorities, for reading a forbidden book and dabbling in heretic thoughts. What a thrill! What a thrill to be alone in the dark – with a book of such clarity and honesty and feeling, a book written by an anonymous author (for fear of reprisals), and here it is, in my hand – and the golden rays of my lamp, illuminate its text – thus illuminating my mind.

Outside it is still darkness. But inside, there is light!

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