My Holiday Reading: Dee Roycroft

Sat, Aug 3, 2013, 01:00

Last Christmas, I got a present of a Kindle. On St Stephen’s Day, some time between waiting for an emergency doctor for my sick son, and dashing to the airport, I downloaded Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84.

On the plane, the child shivered, muttering gibberish as his temperature rose, and I fell straight through a wormhole into 1980s Japan. As we drove through the warm, starlit African mountains to the hotel, I could have sworn there were two moons. The child’s hacking cough filled the hotel lobby. A plastic Santa grinned at us, clutching a list marked “Christmas 2010”. Reality wavered.

We spent our days wrapped in blankets under a watery sun, by a freezing pool and I dreamt of assassins and ice picks. At night, the child had epic nose bleeds, sleeping curled up on my knee. My head filled with thoughts of changelings and peas. I threw out the meds. The nosebleeds stopped. On the fifth day the child demanded a ham toastie and strawberry milkshake. My throat was on fire. The child came back to himself, but I withdrew, cocooned in our small apartment, beside a deserted playground. Or was that the book?

1Q84 is written as three books, but I only had two. I asked the nice Polish lady for wifi so I could download the final one. It cost more than the airport taxi, but I held my Kindle above Santa, motionless until I had sucked each word from the ether.

We flew home on the seventh day. With my fever I saw two moons for weeks.


Dee Roycroft is an actor and writer, and the assistant script editor on Fair City. Her other recent work includes contributions to Tell Me a Story on RTÉ Jr.

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