They thought I was a madman. I spent my time in the library, buried in books without words blank covers, blank pages, blank stories. I brought them in garbage bags, grocery bags, pillow cases, burlap sacks tens upon tens of them, one after another. I rose early and sprawled outside on the grass in the cold Portland morning, pants soaked in dew, bags of books strewn about, waiting for the library doors to open. Sometimes men in orange vests would come by and offer me tea in a Styrofoam cup; for years I refused, believing they wished to poison me.