In my novel, Kafka In The Castle, I fill in the missing entries of his actual diaries. There are many days to fill, as he either did not write during these days, or he destroyed the record.
11 June 1918
That was a game I used to play with my sisters when we were little: What if we were children of the Emperor? What if we dug a hole in the ground all the way to China? What if we had our own house? What if we lived by the ocean? What if we went to church (those mysterious churches)? What if we lived on the moon, would we be able to yell down our greetings? Ottla had the least interest in the game, yet she made up the best questions.
I find today that when I `what if’, I don’t think so much of the future, but wonder about those things I might have done in my past, which I ignored or refused.
Felice, of course, with two engagements never fulfilled.
Other work – I’m a good enough lawyer, I could get other work.
Prague – this ornate tomb – to have lived a life elsewhere. Berlin, Palestine, Amerika. Zurau.
What if I had fled with the Swiss girl? Her youth, her zest – I might have learned to sing.
What if I were less exact – less austere?
What I might have written.
What I might have lived.
What if I had asked far fewer questions – and taken more time to better understand the answers.