crossed his
mind that anything would be needed except courage. The actual writing would
be easy. All he had to do was to transfer to paper the interminable
restless monologue that had been running inside his head, literally for
years. At this moment, however, even the monologue had dried up. Moreover
his varicose ulcer had begun itching unbearably. He dared not scratch it,
because if he did so it always became inflamed. The seconds were ticking
by. He was conscious of nothing except the blankness of the page in front
of him, the itching of the skin above his ankle, the blaring of the music,
and a slight booziness caused by the gin.
Suddenly he began writing in sheer panic, only imperfectly aware of
what he was setting down. His small but childish handwriting straggled up
and down the page, shedding first its capital letters and finally even its
full stops:

April 4th, 1984. Last night to the flicks. All war films. One very
good one of a ship full of refugees being bombed somewhere in the
Mediterranean. Audience much amused by shots of a great huge fat man trying
to swim away with a helicopter after him, first you saw him wallowing along
in the water like a porpoise, then you saw him through the helicopters
gunsights, then he was full of holes and the sea round him turned pink and
he sank as suddenly as though the holes had let in the water, audience
shouting with laughter when he sank. then you saw a lifeboat full of
children with a helicopter hovering over it. there was a middle-aged woman
might have been a jewess