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Posted on August 26, 2020
Tags: excerpts, ennui

We began to ask ourselves if in fact we really existed or whether what we took to be life could not be a complex illusion, an endless, low-quality dream. These threadbare surroundings in which we sat hunched over a scrubbed table, our backs to the light, came very close to being nothing. Perhaps we too were nothing, had come from nothing, were journeying through nothing, towards a distant goal of nothingness. Enfield was nothing, the Rialto cinema nothing to the accompaniment of organ music, the Queen’s nothing with fleas. We had come here to confront a supper of nothing, boiled, fried or scrambled, with or without chips, to be followed by custard if desired at no extra charge. After this it was back home to nothing, or down the town to pick up a couple of girls at the bottom of Church Street, and engage them in a lively conversation about nothing plus sex, or just nothing.

Norman Lewis, Jackdaw Cake: An Autobiography: