Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Dream of my Father

In a windowless room in Moscow, K. looked at the six men seated in front of him and silently screamed in exasperation. He had been hired to tell these American executives the truth about Russian officialdom, but would they ever listen? They talked, talked, talked amongst themselves, never catching his eye and with never a moment’s pause.

K. wiped tears of self pity from his eyes and shouted over their din. “You go to a meeting with the Russians, and they drug you!”

The scene faded as he felt himself waking: he was sat at a table, just outside a cafe, watching Russian buses go by. “I’ve been drugged” he thought, “I’ve just woken up. I’ve got to get out of here.“

He scanned the street for taxis. Coming down the main thoroughfare was a familiar sight. A black cab with its cheery “For Hire” sign, and K. realized in panic that he was still drugged, and desperately sought to awake.

And now he was in a big bed, with a slumbering woman next to him. Was this his Russian hotel room? He thought of a crazy old pop song as he staggered to his feet in the darkness and began to search blindly for the exit ...


My father is very ill, and restless under sedation. This has psychological consequences for all the family. With apologies to the shade of Kafka.

Update: my father died at 3 p.m. this afternoon at St. Peter's Hospice in Brentry, Bristol.