For her, the most memorable metaphor of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness was Marlow’s futile search for rivets, a frustrating task because they were everywhere, except where he wanted them. She thought of this often, like when she faced an empty coin purse in front of a parking meter, all the while knowing there was a bowl of change back home. Or when the toilet paper ran out in the downstairs loo but a surfeit of rolls were stacked upstairs. Or waiting for the 47 South Lansdowne bus. It’s not like she’d be eaten by cannibals but it still resonated.