Saturday, January 26, 2013

The dark and sooty chamber in his heart

He had to get out. Jackson hated hospitals. He had spent more time in them than most people. He had watched his mother take an eternity to die in one and as a police constable he had spent nearly every Saturday night taking statements in A and E. Birth, death (the one as traumatic as the other), injury disease — hospitals weren't healthy places to hang around in. Too many sick people. Jackson wasn't sick, he was repaired, and he wanted to go home, or at least to the place he called home now, which was the tiny but exquisite flat in Covent Garden containing the priceless jewel that was his wife, or would contain her when she stepped off the plane at Heathrow on Monday morning. Not his real home, his real home, the one he never named any more, was the dark and sooty chamber in his heart that contained his sister and his brother and, because it was an accommodating kind of space, the entire filthy history of the industrial revolution. It was amazing how much dark matter you could crush inside the black hole of the heart.

— from When Will There Be Good News?, by Kate Atkinson.

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