Extract from ‘Catching Jerusalem’, a novel by Alexander Dubois

“I was thinking all this while still in bed after Annie left, and after a while I started to get bored just lying on my back reading nonsense poetry upside down – though I suppose reading it upside down only enhances the nonsensical nature of it. I started planning what I was going to do for the rest of the day: it was, after all, only the middle of a Saturday afternoon. I do this an awful lot, you see. I’ll lie in bed for hours just planning what I’m going to do when I eventually get up. More often than not, though, by the time I’ve planned it in enough depth to satisfy myself, I’ve run out of time to do the things I wanted to do in the first place. Just another of the challenges in the eternal struggle that is Tommy Adam’s life, eh?

So this time I decided to quit planning and just get out of bed and do something. If you ask me, that’s the number one cause of pain around the world: people just not getting round to doing things, or doing things halfheartedly. Take that Egyptian revolution, the one Annie was going on about earlier. If the revolutionaries had had the energy to follow the route to damned democracy, then it would have all been fine. As it was, they gave up halfway through and now look at it. I suppose you could say laziness is at the root of all bad things that happened in the past hundred or so years – Chamberlain, too lazy to stand up to Hitler; Bush Sr., too lazy to pursue Hussein; the UN, too lazy to follow through its damned resolutions. If anything really gets me, it’s the UN, I tell you. I’m not one for international intervention, we’ve discussed this already – let the bastards sort themselves out – but if the UN says it’s going to help, then it should do it. Not just waiver over Clause 324 or whatever the hell they do. Pisses me off, it really does.

So that’s why I’m feeling that I should stop lying in bed and go do something. Maybe Annie was right when she said my apathy was deadly, or whatever the hell she said. My life can be pretty stagnant, that’s for sure. But isn’t everybody’s? Isn’t everybody’s life in some sort of stasis? Either you’re at school, or you’re at work, or you’re sleeping, or you’re eating. There’s no excitement anymore, not in this country. Makes you wish you were an Egyptian, doesn’t it: at least you’d have something to fill your Sunday afternoons, even if that something was overthrowing the government.”

Extract from ‘Catching Jerusalem’, a novel by Alexander Dubois, out 2014


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