London Diary




"on catching mice .iii."

I boiled some water, made a huge cup of instant coffee and baked me a couple of eggs, then sat down at the table and had breakfast. Meanwhile I observed the weird little zoo in front of me. One, two of the mice were still running around, nervously wagging their tail, bumping their snouts again and again against the glass walls, sniffing and scratching away at it. But most of them had given up. Exhausted, they seemed to have abandoned all hope. They were lying still, breathing quickly, heavily. When I started to contemplate the little drama that had been staged in my kitchen last night I got more and more thrilled, and I suddenly found myself in a state of utmost euphoria. I switched on my notebook and began to type some of my thoughts, in order to clarify them, to make them precise.
Had I not just created a perfect metaphor of what had been happening to me during these last three turbulent months?

I thought that maybe I should start writing a 'treatise on catching mice'. But then maybe that is what this London diary is all about already:

"The Noble Art of Catching Mice"...

I became aware of the power that unexpectingly, unwantingly, I had stumbled upon. Me and I alone here would decide between life and death! Should we have mercy? Should we release the little creatures, and set them free? That, in the end, all of this would appear to them merely as some 'once upon a time'-kind of bad dream?

Would I want my catcher to show mercy?

It was with a sense of relief, of elation, and - funny enough - of absolute freedom, that I then realized that as a matter of fact there was not the least shadow of a doubt in my mind as to what the answer to this final question should be: "No! No mercy!"