It was Wednesday morning. My nurse aid arrived as I was finishing my leg stretches. I went back to bed and started reading Kafka’s notes while she made breakfast for me. Ross Benjamin, the translator, has done great justice to the author. I was immediately engrossed in Kafka’s beautiful writing and in his portrayal of Jewish life in the Prague of his times, one hundred years ago. When I got to the middle of a passage describing the dancer Edvardova, my nurse aid came with the tray. I had to close my Kindle and put it away.
A feeling of disappointment swept over me. Closing the Kindle meant shutting the door to a world outside the world where I live. I live in a world where I have to move around in a wheelchair; where I’m constantly haunted by the fear of losing my balance and of an unexpected seizure; and where despite constant exercises, I can barely move my left arm and hand. So, as I’m stretching, eating breakfast, or doing my exercises, I think longingly of Kafka and my Kindle.