Once again it’s time: I submit the manuscript of a new novel. This time, there’s no mixture of exultation and resignation, chutzpah and confusion raging in my breast. The fact of the matter is quietly noted – with a solitary schnapps shortly after midday. In order to achieve closure domestically as well, I then perform the customary exorcism: I take the previous ten days’ rubbish down to the bin, make the bed with fresh sheets, wash, shave and change into clean clothes. Am I, now, a new man? Hardly. My hand can’t even feel a new scalp at my hip. All that’s there is that vague mixture of joy and irritation (twelve to fifteen watts of it). And relief that I had the strength to see it through this time, too. All that remains is to hope that the energy I lack at the moment has been preserved in – no, by – the text.
What was that slogan of yore for Wrigley’s spearmint? Sealed tight, kept right, the flavour lasts. There, my remaining watts’ wish.