The Torture of Words
Life was often torture for those who, like Victor, lived by words. He was addicted to them. There must already be a medical appellation for this condition, he thought, in our age so anxious to establish that everyone is, in one way or another, sick in the head; he’d have to check.
Perhaps the worst aspect of the addiction was a compulsion to read absolutely everything. The back of his breakfast cereal packets, the warning notices in aspirin boxes (which he found quite chilling), the promotional offers in supermarkets, the menu card of every restaurant he encountered on his walks, the words on T-shirts worn by people in the street (he would even turn to check their backs), the stupid ‘ticker’ information on TV news channels which prevented one concentrating on the programmes—virtually any and every word and text that passed in front of his eyes, in fact.