Fiction

Excerpt from A Long Way Down – Nick Hornby

I once asked Dad what he’d do if he wasn’t working in politics, and he said he’d be working in politics, and what he meant, I think, is that wherever he was in the world, whatever job he was doing, he’d still find a way back, in the way that cats are supposed to be able to find a way back when they move house. He’d be on the local council, or he’d give out pamphlets, or something. Anything that was a part of that world, he’d do. He was a little sad when he said it; he told me it was, in the end, a failure of imagination.

And that’s me: I suffer from a failure of imagination. I could do what I wanted, every day of my life, and what I want to do, apparently, is to get walloped out of my head and pick fights. Telling me I can do anything I want is like pulling the plug out of the bath and then telling the water it can go anywhere it wants. Try it, and see what happens.

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