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David’s hero is Batman. One day his mother tells him that Batman can’t fly. David is wearing his Batman costume and tries to prove that he can, but he ends up in the casualty department of a hospital. He and his mother live with his grandparents. His mother is a prostitute, but as she is getting older she finds it difficult to accept that men become less interested in her. David is often neglected by her, but his grandmother spoils him.
His Aunt Enid has frequent fights with his mother, one reason being that she does not trust her husband with her sister. When David’s grandmother dies, his grandfather tells his mother to leave the house and asks David to choose, either to go with his mother or to stay with him. He chooses for his mother and they move into a poor one-room apartment. Here David is often left alone when his mother has business with some man. Then she leaves him for months and David has to try to survive on his own.
Driven by hunger he accepts the attentions of a man he meets in the street, but the man has nasty intentions. David wants to escape from his house, but the only way to do that is through the window. But for this he will have to fly. When I got back I could hear the shouting before I opened the kitchen door; then I remembered the beds. I was going to run but I was starving. I needed an excuse so I limped into the kitchen. My gran was standing by the sink; she was wearing her hat and overcoat and holding two full shopping bags. All right then, That’s enough now, my gran said when she saw me.
My mum and my auntie Enid were standing at opposite ends of the kitchen table staring at each other with faces like a pair of mad dogs. Then I noticed my uncle sitting behind the sewing machine. He had his head down as if he was hiding. Come on, stop it now, my gran said and put down the shopping bags. Tell her to stop it, my auntie shouted and looked straight through my mum. She makes me sick. I’d better move these then, my mum said, pushing a bag of flour and packets of dried fruit to one side. I’m off now; I’m already late.
My auntie moved to her right. you’re not going till you tell me what you were up to, she shouted. Nothing, my mum said and lined up the packets of dried fruit. I keep telling you; nothing. What’s wrong with you, are you deaf?
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