So Help Me God

by Marcelo Medone

In 1975, Borges confessed in a story to having received an infinite page book from a Scottish bible dealer who had obtained it “in the farthest regions of Bikaner”, trading it in exchange for several books that he had treasured as a good bibliophile.

This book, called by Borges the Book of Sand, obsessed him in such a way that it deprived him of rest for long nights, becoming a cursed object.

The great writer got rid of it in a masterful way, “losing it on a musty shelf in the National Library, among 900,000 other books,” in the same way that a sardine would be lost in a school of its own species, a camel in a caravan or a pine needle in a pine forest.

This story impressed me vividly when I was a teenager studying Literature with ambitions to be a writer. I judged that the story was probably true, so I began prowling the National Library of Buenos Aires, looking for clues to its whereabouts.

Before long, I got a night job as a cleaner at the Library, without telling anyone of my covert purpose to find the famous book. I repeatedly turned down the promotions offered to me in my job, the ones that would have diverted me from my mission.

I spent decades going through the repositories of forgotten books, without success.

Until now, when I finally have in my old hands the infinite book that once belonged to Jorge Luis Borges.

I hope I don’t lose my sanity.

God help me.

So Help Me God

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