Jeffrey Skinner

from Codex

we people in books do not want to be the People of the Book. In fact, we want out of the book. We want to be free. The last idea one of us had was to hold our breath and swim out of a paragraph to the margin of the page, and then go deeper, until we came to the spine, where we would use a drill to make a circle of holes, and when it was large enough we would bash out a hatch and make our escape. But the drill kept getting gummed up with glue and turning more and more slowly. Besides, the drill was two dimensional, as were we—the People in the Book—and when you apply a two dimensional drill to a three dimensional spine the hole heals quickly, even as it’s being drilled.

Before John set out (John was the one with the idea), I took him aside and said “John, aren’t you forgetting the incompleteness theorem? You can’t use a tool from a system to get out of that system.“ John said, “Fuck it, I don’t care. I’m going crazy in here.” I was also going at least a little nuts and so against my better judgment decided to go with him, though I knew the theorem had been tested and was utterly solid, so there was no hope. But there is also, you know, a kind of madness that overtakes you when the tormenting question cannot be answered in the place where you are, as you are, and you must try to leave that place.