You know how sometimes you find $5 in your pocket when you’re doing laundry? Or you’re cleaning your room and you just find stuff that you don’t remember having?
I just found a copy of Sophocles on my bookshelf that I don’t remember having; the thing’s been there all for God-knows how long and I have no memory of every buying it or picking it up somewhere. It’s one of the black and red Penguin copies of Three Theban Plays: Antigone, Oedipus the King, and Oedipus at Colonus; it’s translated by Robert Fagles, whose translation of the Odyssey I’ve liked so far, but still – where did this thing come from? I’ve never needed it for any class I’ve taken, I’m certain I didn’t pick it up myself from Priceless Books or at a library book sale, so did my sub-letter from last spring leave it here? It’s the only option, but – no, she couldn’t have, because I put my books away while she was living here. So this book had to be in my collection from the beginning, and I had to have put it back up there myself. Otherwise, someone had to have snuck into my apartment and put it there themselves. I write in almost every book I own, but this one doesn’t have any annotations either. I haven’t even read the Oedipus cycle! I know, I’m the only Classics student who hasn’t, but, really, I probably know the plot better than most people who have read it just from seeing it become a theme in literature and listening to my instructors talk about it.
This is going to bother me. Where the hell did this thing come from?