that’s the key

I’ve always loved riddles. I’m not sure why. I suppose they give me something to focus on, something to sink my proverbial teeth into. At times, though I suppose I could say most of the time, when I find riddles to try to solve, I manage to find the answer pretty quickly. Those aren’t really riddles I much care for. Now and again though, I’ll stumble onto a particular riddle that will leave me scratching my head for a while. I’m sure a lot of folks would find that absolutely annoying but I love it, it feels like I’ve managed to have myself a good cup of strong coffee. I’m strange that way.

There’s one riddle I’ve found lately, I come back to it every now and again but I still haven’t found the answer. I don’t really obsess over these things, they’re just little extras I keep my hands on so I don’t feel like my life has settled into a perfect little routine. I don’t know how people handle routines but I just can’t handle it. There is nothing more routine-like than going to work at the library, placing books back where they belong, scan books people want to borrow and do it all over again but it is what I do for a living, it is what I love, there just is always enough going on each day to make today stand out from yesterday.

Some of these riddles often require keys and finding those are what takes me more time than not. Once I’ve managed to find those, that’s that, I can figure out the rest and I put it on the pile of ‘done’ riddles. I don’t necessarily dig another riddle up the moment I’ve figured out the one I was working on for a while, that wouldn’t really make much sense. No, instead I read the old riddle over and I check the answer to it to make sure it does make sense. Once that’s done, now and again I’ll actually look through the books I’ve found them in to see if I’ve found the right answer or not.

After all, finding an answer to a riddle is one thing but finding the right answer is even more important, after all. Not all books offer answers and there are some older riddles that still are unsolved in my desk. When it takes me too long to find an answer, I tend to put it aside and focus on something new. Once the new one has been solved, I spare a glance at the old ones I haven’t managed to find the proper clue for yet, perhaps hoping that the new knowledge I’ve learned over time might help me shed a bit more light on everything.

It doesn’t always work but I suppose that is the point of it all. Not all riddles are meant to be solved though that seems to defeat the purpose of them, in the long run.

Just last night, I was reading a passage in the current book I have on my night stand and something clicked. I read it over, three times to be sure I hadn’t imagined it, I put my bookmark right there, closed the book and put it down. I made my way off towards my study room and my desk where I made to dig through all those little bits of papers I have my riddles on. I like writing the riddles down on little bits of cardboard and paper, it helps me to better understand them and it just makes everything more uniform. I may not like routine but I like things when they are uniform enough. I suppose that’s why I don’t much like myself.

So I sat at my desk, I dug through my bits of paper and cardboard and I found that one old riddle that had been following me for a few year at least at that point. I took it out, closed the drawer and looked at it. I read it once, twice and a third time to make sure and there it was, right in my face, as if it had been waiting to be exposed to light again. I took a pencil, another piece of paper and I scribbled, oh I wrote and scribbled, almost a whole page of little notes as I worked the riddle out part by part.

By the end, I had myself the answer, the very key that made the riddle seem so easy when you stepped back and really looked at it from a new point of view. I wrote down my answer, read the riddle, read the answer and told myself that this was going to be it, that this was the answer I’d been trying to find for so long.

Instead of hopping directly online to check it or trying to find the book in which I’d found that riddle, I put the paper and bit of cardboard away. I set them partly under my lamp so they wouldn’t go floating off. It was late and I knew I’d had to write down the flash of genus that had crossed my mind otherwise it would have more than likely fled me. Now that I was done, all I really wanted was to head back to bed where I’d been doing my reading.

Once back in bed, I went for the book again, not much caring to leave a chapter undone. I opened I back to the page I had bookmarked and I continued reading, it was just a couple of pages more. Once the new chapter appeared on the following page, I set my bookmark again, closed the door, set it down and settled against my pillows to sleep and rest.

The shining morning sun pulled me from my restful sleep. I looked at the book on my bedside a moment and told myself it might not have been the best thing to read before sleep, my dreams had been less than clear, confused and somewhat dark from what little I recalled, not quite the kind of sleep I tended to hope for, though I was more than aware I couldn’t really control what I dreamed about.

I went about my morning’s mock-routine, I washed up, I got dressed, I ate a little something and I pondered checking online to see if my answer to the riddle was the right one, if I’d found that one key I had been needing all these years. I decided against it for the time being, knowing it would very likely end up with my being late heading out for work. Riddles are just one of those things, they have my whole attention and I get sucked into whatever it is that I find about them when I get to looking around for more information on them.

I knew I could look it up when I came home or even look it up while at work depending on how quiet or not the day was going to be. With Eoghan now having set his sights on that beautiful church to transform it into the new library, the workers have gone, the place is quieter and people just are busy with their lives as a whole during this time of the year.

It’s not to say there wasn’t enough work to keep busy with, there was plenty but it did usually get mostly done in the earlier hours, leaving a bit of very quiet time before the day was over and before it was time to head on home.

I decided against bringing the riddle with me to work, figuring I had plenty of time to look it over once I was home again tonight. It wasn’t going anywhere and the world wasn’t about to end—though one never could really know about that.

I like riddles, other people like sports or group games or dancing. Riddles are just one of those things that I know don’t judge me and that’s all I want.


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