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Haruki Murakami   ::   Sputnik Sweetheart

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Sumire was a hopeless romantic, a bit set in her ways - innocent of the ways of the world, to put a nice spin on it. Start her talking and she'd go on nonstop, but if she was with someone she didn't get along with - most people in the world, in other words - she barely opened her mouth. She smoked too much, and you could count on her to lose her ticket every time she took the train. She'd get so engrossed in her thoughts at times she'd forget to eat, and she was as thin as one of those war orphans in an old Italian film - like a stick with eyes. I'd love to show you a photo of her but I don't have any. She hated having her photograph taken - no desire to leave behind for posterity a Portrait of the Artist as a Young (Wo)Man.
"My head is like some ridiculous barn packed full of stuff I want to write about," she said. "Images, scenes, snatches of words ... in my mind they're all glowing, all alive. Write! they shout at me. A great new story is about to be born - I can feel it. It'll transport me to some brand-new place. Problem is, once I sit at my desk and put them all down on paper, I realize something vital is missing. It doesn't crystallize - no crystals, just pebbles. And I'm not transported anywhere."
"Instead of things I'm good at, it might be faster to list the things I can't do. I can't cook or clean the house. My room's a mess, and I'm always losing things. I love music, but I can't sing a note. I'm clumsy and can barely sew a stitch. My sense of direction is the pits, and I can't tell left from right half the time. When I get angry, I tend to break things. Plates and pencils, alarm clocks. Later on I regret it, but at the time I can't help myself. I have no money in the bank. I'm bashful for no reason, and I have hardly any friends to speak of."
Just before I fell asleep, I thought about her final thank you and whether I'd ever heard those words from her before. Maybe I had, once, but I couldn't recall.
"Much less tiring to travel alone."
"Any explanation or logic that explains everything so easily has a hidden trap in it. I'm speaking from experience. Somebody once said if it's something a single book can explain, it's not worth having explained."
The me sitting here and the image of me I have are out of sync.
When did my youth slip away from me? I suddenly thought. It was over, wasn't it? Seemed just like yesterday I was still only half grown up. Huey Lewis and the News had a couple of hit songs then. Not so many years ago. And now here I was, inside a closed circuit, spinning my wheels. Knowing I wasn't getting anywhere, but spinning just the same. I had to. Had to keep that up or I wouldn't be able to survive.
So that's how we live our lives. No matter how deep and fatal the loss, no matter how important the thing that's stolen from us - that's snatched right out of our hands - even if we are left completely changed people with only the outer layer of skin from before, we continue to play out our lives this way, in silence. We draw ever nearer to our allotted span of time, bidding it farewell as it trails off behind. Repeating, often adroitly, the endless deeds of the everyday. Leaving behind a feeling of immeasurable emptiness.
books i've read..
2013 [12 read]
2012 [36 read]
2011 [5 read]
2010 [6 read]
2009 [5 read]
2008 [21 read]
2007 [31 read]
2006 [37 read]
2005 [37 read]
2004 [32 read]
2003 [18 read]
2002 [52 read]
2001 [43 read]
2000 [7 read]
1999 [25 read]
1998 [3 read]
unknown year [65 read]

read over the years