extracts from an underwhelming novel
It is very cold. As I sit numbly in the trolleybus, lumps of ice float down the river, catching the corner of my eye and pulling it slowly and mightily towards a cluster of ice further down. This triggers a thought which starts churning in my brain: will the lumps stop when they reach the cluster or does it also float, ever so slowly, while everything around it rushes to try and escape the cold.
Having arrived at work, I see that there is nothing to do. I read my email (two unsatisfying new messages, more worries for my worry-box, later, later) and go on to browse unnecessary on-line stores. The items can be grouped by price, which is a very sensible option for me, with my very limited budget of zero. $0-50 wields few results, so my pretend wallet thickens to encompass the $50-150 group. I look at beautiful cufflinks and crave them. Not that I have any cuffs to link. Perhaps one day, when it will be fitting for me to write a memoir, I will call it ‘Escalating Escapism’. It will include a chapter on the cufflinks that I love so much despite (or because of) not needing them.
That unwritten memoir has had many potential titles. When I was a child, it was called ‘My Parents and All Their Friends are Alcoholics’, because the difference between social drinking and alcoholism escaped me. Now I’m looking at beautiful umbrellas. There is no rain, just snow, but the umbrellas are so magnetic. The website suggests I locate a store by country. Please choose your country, it says untruthfully. My country has been decided for me, and it is not featured on the disappointingly short list.