TranslatingRitaSophie

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Copying Murakami

 

Her name was Kafka. And she was still beautiful for her age. Though, she could not remember how old she was. And she hadn’t been given access to the public files, where she could check her birth certificate. Besides, who cares anyway? This kind of details will turn into nothing else but disappointments… Sooner or later. And, with all the cold outside, who would need another depression?

To have a clear picture of the scenery of this story, imagine you’re flying in an air balloon above the frozen desert. Don’t you think it looks like a MacDonald’s ice-cream cone? Her house was in the down point. It was a small, white house, a pale smoke coming out its chimney. All houses had smoking chimneys, but hers was the palest one. Her office was all the way on the upper circular base. The ice-cream had a cherry on its top, and the office building was just right there, all red as well, to match the cherry. Every morning has its strict ritual: she would drink her coffee in the company of her reindeer. Then, she would mount the deer, and go to work. Come to think of it, reindeers are very weird animals. For example, hers was named Sylvester. Like the crazy cat in the Looney tunes. He would ruminate slowly, and she could bet he watched her drinking her coffee with the corner of his eye, just to be sure she was there, drinking her coffee. Sometime, she would also eat a pickle, only because Sylvester, with its colourful hey, would raise her appetite. So, every morning she would mount her Sylvester, and go all the way from the point to the circular base of the cone. More precisely, to the cherry. In about forty minutes. On the clock. If one day there was a storm, she would stay in. It would have been completely suicidal to try to ride Sylvester on a storm. She would take the day off, and spend it with Sylvester, colourful hay and lots of pickles. At work, everybody had their wall. Hers was all white. Same as most of her thoughts. So peaceful! She was so lucky to have a peaceful wall! She remembered Aye going all nuts after her wall turned into a rainbow for two days in a row. Her white wall would flicker, from time to time, in pale, blue shadows. Very timid flickers, almost imperceptible. Initially, she didn’t want to perceive them as signals. Should I report them, or not, she wondered. Eventually, she would photograph them, just to have a proof for her report.

The first day, she just saw the flickers. The second day, they spoke.

– You arrre beautiful, she heard softly. A deep voice, with a sweet R, as uttered by a Frenchman running through the rain. She was pretty close to blush, but still she didn’t.

The third day she almost forgot to go home. She and the blue voice had talked for hours. And so went the fourth day as well. And the fifth… and the sixth… And her days were not that cold anymore. She would think of the blue voice and feel all warm and happy. She would smile to the clouds. She would even laugh at Sylvester. Poor Sylvester! She scared it so badly, that it ran away, as fast as it could, as if chased by wolves and bears. Or worse! Its awful nightmare that its head will end up hung above a fireplace. And after a while, she couldn’t stop thinking of the blue voice. She would imagine talking to it all the time. In the evening, while doing the dishes. Or in the morning, she would ask it if the pickles weren’t too sour… And sometimes, she would even have the feeling that Sylvester was trotting slowlier, as if carrying two people.

And then, all of a sudden, it all came to an end. It was an average day, just like the one before. The morning ritual. The coffee, no pickles this time, the forty minutes ride to the office, the hi’s and hello’s, and her wall. And the blue voice. She started:

– I’ve been thinking about you all weekend long.

– But you are not here in weekends, we cannot talk. And there are no white walls in your house…

– I know, that wasn’t a reproach, don’t’ worry! I was just saying…

– But why did you think of me? There are other hundreds of billions of blue voices in the Universe. You could have thought of any of them.

– Well, I wanted to think of you! I can think of whatever blue voice I want, can’t I?

Silence.

– Are you annoyed?

No, she was not annoyed. She was just sad. But she would not tell the blue voice she was sad.

– Don’t worry, I’m not annoyed. I’ll just go home and think of all the other hundreds of billions of blue voices in the Universe. Don’t worry!

And she left. She mounted Sylvester. And Sylvester started his natural trot to the point of the cone. And then, something happened. Nobody knew what, exactly. But neither her, nor Sylvester made it to the point of the cone. Ever! They organized search committees. They wrote long, accusing columns in the newspapers. But no one ever thought to talk to the blue voice. On the other hand, no one could have done it. Simply because the deep voice, with a sweet R, as uttered by a Frenchman running through the rain, would talk to no one but her.

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