It’s the middle of the night (again) and I’m back into bed from a relaxing leak. I’m not prepared to say which leak of the night because the problems between bearded Booker prize winning novelists and their prostates are not for everyone to follow on the Instagram or the tumblr. I am still trying to decide whether I have broken my jinx with leaks and enjoyed myself. I think I probably haven’t. On the plus side, I didn’t, sleepy-eyed, drop my phone into the bowl this time. But I was, again, woken in the early hours by the urge. At this age the flow doesn’t come sweeping every day like Niagara from the mountains. And as I’m not on holiday I didn’t have to listen to a twenty something leak bore telling everyone over breakfast how fast and uninterrupted his golden arch is.
So what was on the minus side? I suppose the leak itself. For some reason, no actual leak I take ever measures up to the ideal platonic leak for which I yearn. This could be because of a fleetingly beautiful leak I had as a child. We were just driving by. My father never liked stopping the car, but some way from a service station and in a relatively deserted part of Manchester, at my insistence he did – just long enough for me to hide among the bushes, quickly go, and come skipping back to the car. It seemed a vast leak to me, ending far, far away and whispering the impossible relief that only the other side of a leak can promise.
A leak in the bushes proves the leaker’s prowess, but also somehow bears his hopes, and is more suggestive to me than any leak cast carelessly over the boat side into the sea. A leak is more mysterious than the ocean. Think how fascinating the idea of a leak monster is. One of those insects you read about that swims up the flow and embeds itself in you. Scares the willies out of me, I’ll tell you. There are doubtless far stranger and more menacing things under the sea, but the sea is not our business as a leak is (in more ways than one!). What’s in a leak is mysteriously still part of us.
Say “leak”, and down in our unconscious something stirs. But what? I’m still trying to find out. And with this prostate I’ll tell you it doesn’t always make for a successful sleep.
Will this do? Who do I invoice? Can I go back to writing novels now?
[syndicated to The Guardian and all newspapers publishing Booker prize winning novelists]