Today while I was driving home, a woman coming in the opposite direction hooted at me. She seemed very angry and I’m not entirely sure why. Did I veer too closely into her lane? Had I accidentally knocked over a dog, and was I now dragging its dead body behind me? Or was she simply pissed that I hadn’t placed my hand in front of my mouth as I was yawning? The possibilities are endless.

Anyway, as my sister once famously said, “I don’t know why people get so annoyed. It was an ALMOST accident.”

*

I’m currently reading ‘The Cement Garden’ by Ian McEwan, author of Atonement.

 

‘The Cement Garden’ is one seriously messed up book, which is saying a lot coming from me. I’ve read all American Psycho and Fight Club. At one point in the book, Jack, a teenager and narrator of the novel, lies to a little kid, saying that the little kid’s mother was killed in an accident.

 

‘I’ll tell you something,’ I said quietly. ‘I’ve just come from your house. Your dad told me. Your mum’s dead. She came out looking for you and a car ran her over.’

‘Ner-ner, your mom’s dead,’ Tom crowed.

‘She isn’t,’ the little boy said to himself.

‘I’m telling you,’ I hissed at him. ‘I’ve just come from your house. Your dad’s pretty upset, and he’s really angry with you. Your mum got run over because she was looking for you.’ The boy stood up. The colour had drained from his face. ‘I wouldn’t go home if I was you,’ I continued, ‘your dad’ll be after you.’ The boy ran off up to our garden path to the front door.

 

Sadly this isn’t even the most disturbing thing that happens in the book.

Almost accidents and The Cement Garden

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