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Watanabe

‘That’s all I think about these days. Must be because I have so much time to kill every day. When you don’t have anything to do, your thoughts go really, really far out – so far out you can’t follow them all the way to the end.’ *
I always envied Murakami’s characters. More or less, they were very much like me, it’s only that they ended up expressing their feelings and thoughts much better than me. Yeah, Murakami is a far much better storyteller than my muse.
For example, I always fancied about meeting Watanabe**. Don’t know if I’d fallen for him, I was kind of shallow when it comes to guys, they would have to be primarily handsome, and, on the other hand, I always pictured Watanabe very skinny and not at all my type.
But he would still make an excellent companion for my lonely days. Right, my nights are also lonely, but then I’d read and think of what I’d talk to Watanabe the next day.
On the other hand, he gets to have three women in NORWEGIAN WOOD. So there must be something more to it than just a skinny guy, and even if he was not my type, you can never know… Anyway!
Watanabe would sit on one of the two stools I’d got from Kasia and eat almonds. I know he’d like a beer, but I quit drinking and… Still, I could offer him some whiskey. He’d drink it and tell me that my hair is like a lonely yellow field of wheat, where two turtles and an opossum had lost their way and now they’re just writing down their will, cause there’s no way out of the lonely yellow field of wheat. Yeah, that would be Watanabe!

___________________

* H Murakami – The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
** Main character of Murakami’s Norwegian Wood.

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.

THE ELEPHANT VANISHES or HAPPY NEW 2011

Memories are like a novel or novels are like memories.’ (H. Murakami)

I was just thinking, sometime last year, that I should burn my diaries. My good old notebooks filled with a long forgotten past, all gone and not important anymore. Burn them up somewhere in the good old Desert, where I had buried my good old dead soul. But what if my old memories would start screaming and begging for their right to live? Hm… On second thought, I didn’t like at all how they tormented me in my dreams…  So, off with their heads!

First days of the brand new year. First days with Murakami. We’ve been together for quite some time already. And his writings always make me hungry, longing for tofu, Japanese noodles, things I’ve never tasted, or green trees, mountains and fresh air, smelling of after-rain grass. Or thirsty. Of a cold beer, or an ungratefully bitter gin, some impersonal whisky, you name it!

This time the hunger should be for my thoughts. Not as much a hunger, but a still-hunting! Murakami’s writings would be the bait!

I’ve started re-reading his short stories collection THE ELEPHANT VANISHES in the last days of 2010. There’s something that drives me crazy about his short stories: their lack of an ending. They build up perfectly, all exciting and thrilling, perfect characters, perfect landscape, all credible and vertical – why would you question a factory for elephants or a dancing dwarf?

Isn’t it right that the above phrase misses an ending? Isn’t it that you would expect an answer to the dancing dwarf question? Oh well, keep dreaming, you won’t get any! DITO!

As for me, I’m still mowing lawns. I’m not very good at dancing. Besides, the dwarf’s proposal is all stinky.

(I’m wondering if Murakami likes Rammstein… Undoubtedly, I’m listening to some music while writing. It’s all dark in my living room, the Christmas tree’s still flickering timidly, and the white screen of my Toshiba keeps mingling the letters, just to mirror my thoughts all relaxed of the whisky and darkness – no metaphorical connotations here!)

The house in THE LAST LAWN OF THE AFTERNOON is very much similar to one of the houses in my dreams. I have recurrent dreams of a house with long halls, all dark and familiar, smelling of dust and memories, the rooms of which I wander endlessly, like a maze I don’t want to find the exit of… You get the picture!

As for THE TV PEOPLE, since I’ve already got a TV and kind of watched it a lot, they’d better give me a massage, if I have a choice here. I’m sure my cat wouldn’t mind them either, or my Iranian neighbours, or the fish in the tank in the entrance hall.

And, as it seems that I have a genuine aptitude to nicely wrap up stories and blog postings, let me enjoy the few lines above. It’s promising for this early start of 2011. I’m optimistic! A peaceful HAPPY NEW YEAR!

SPUTNIK SWEETHEART

I was supposed to write about SPUTNIK SWEETHEART once I had finished it, which is like more than a month ago. I’ve read two other books in the meantime, none of Murakami’s, unfortunately. Or fortunately. Maybe this will help me revise SPUTNIK SWEETHEART in a personal manner, without Maestro’s influence. In case I have not mentioned this in my previous postings, I’m an unfortunate chameleon when it comes to my writing – I kind of copy the style of the author I’m reading at the time.

When I first joined READING MURAKAMI CHALLENGE, since I had read more than 10 of his novels, I labelled myself as Sumire. Before that, I hadn’t re-read SPUTNIK SWEETHEART for more than 2 years. I had totally forgotten about Sumire. I remembered the story vaguely, mostly Greece, probably because I had a short but intense  vacation there, back in 1999. But this name resonated in my mind for two nights, before falling asleep. I could hear the voices in my head repeating over and over again, I am Sumire, I am Sumire… I am not Sumire, that’s for sure. Or I am… (as I’m writing these lines, I tilted my head to the right a little, narrowed my eyes as blinded by a naughty ray of sun, and kept wondering in my mind, am I Sumire?)

Let’s recap… I don’t have a feminine idol, and I’m far from having any lesbian propensities. Though, I admit I admire a beautiful woman when I see one. I don’t have such a good friend as K, though I think this is what I miss the most! I can think of one or two guys who would fit the profile, but since they don’t seem to have time to answer my phone calls, I’m pretty sure they’re not interested in the position.

Buuuuuuuuuut… I DO dream to be a real writer sometime. And, like Sumire, I’m far from that dream – just check my last postings… One now, the next in a blue moon…

It’s funny, cause Murakami’s novels are much too complex than an unfortunate love story, or talking cats, or idyllic vacations ‘far from the madding crowd’. And SPUTNIK SWEETHEART is not about the skinny Sumire (gosh, I wish I were skinny!!!) and her disappearance in a Greek island (and yes, I wish I went to Greece one more time!). Or it is….

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