Article

Picture postcard from New York City: Stuck in a Manhattan mousetrap

24th December 2017

In the early hours of the morning I was watching a mouse with both its rear paws stuck in a glue trap. I hadn’t the heart to kill it. By the time I woke up, one of my parents had dealt with it.

I had three slices of toast and a coffee that didn’t help. Does it ever? We were a family of five in a two-bedroom apartment, and we were getting stuck under each other’s feet.

The lights are a million eyes, my dear,
The windows are a million ears
But sing till your lungs’ used up
and it’s never enough

What I wanted was to see a museum; what I needed was to revise Old High German vocabulary; what I did was stream football highlights until lunchtime.

It was Christmas Eve and everyone was eager for carolling somewhere Brit-friendly. But my relationship with the Church was in a raw phase and I wanted nothing of it.

So that’s why I ditched my family on Christmas Eve and took a train to Harlem for a free jazz show. The jazz was alright. It’s not as sweet when you’re lonely.

The year after, I took a deep breath and carolled heartily.

The Fountain is out now.

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