The elk is nosing his snout along the bars. The two layers of fencing are designed so that I cannot reach him, no matter how hard I stretch forward. I want to pat his velvety snout very badly, I think this will make me feel better.
Before I left Sydney, many people asked me what a writer in residence does. I have the answers now: I am woken up at 7am by drills on the other side of the wall, forcing me to flee my cardboard apartment. I find it difficult to write on my blog as my computer is not compatible with the university’s network, and as an iBook is an obscure machine, there is nothing that can be done about this. Even if there was, everybody in the university is on holidays. I get sick of hearing ‘I cannot help you’.
I am left to watch disasters on the streets: bicycles colliding, people dropping their sandwiches. To this I nod, because this is exactly the kind of bad luck that has been plauging me, too. Too afraid to venture out at night, with a telephone that only connects to University phone numbers, I eat chocolate bars and listen to people’s voices echoing in the stairwells.
I think all this as I stare at the elk. The elk regards me, thinking that I perhaps have food. If the elk ate disappointment he would be greatly satisfied.