“I don’t know anything about life,” cried the little boy in my class.
I was startled.
He was nine.
I was twenty seven.
We were riding the same ferry, under the same sky.
I smiled at him and told him I know nothing more about it than he does.
“Aha,” exclaimed the Cheshire Cat. His grin was so luminescent if anyone would ask, I’d say somebody hung two moons that night.
“I knew I’d find you here,” exclaimed the cat.
“– or maybe not,” he mumbled.
“What seems to be bothering you?” he inquired.
“Hmmm.. Well… I was just wondering what becomes of me if I ever disappear from this reality,” she whispered.
“Well… Let’s see. How would you like to be remembered?” asked the Cheshire Cat
“I don’t know. Just, you know — like me,” she murmured.
“Oh please!” he chuckled.
“Nobody is ever remembered just for who they are,” the Cheshire Cat continued.
“You see… we all have different eyes.”
and he vanished ever so slowly
n i g h t .
It is simple and beautiful like most Japanese literature. Reading Hiromi Kawakami’s Strange Weather in Tokyo is a lot like staring at the night sky and wondering what about it seems so fascinating.
The book is a love story that is very relatable despite its uncanny situation and plot.
An almost forty year old Tsukiko finds herself in the company of her Japanese secondary school teacher whom she barely remembers when he first approaches her.
They later on find themselves entangled in a karmic situation — meeting without making plans and without having any expectations and demands.
The book takes you on a journey of doubts and fears all in the name of love. It’s not heavily laden with societal problems and pressures, instead it focused more on the characters’ internal predicaments and fears.
The music is unchanged and yet our dance feels different — like palms that catch smoke. Stubborn smoke nestles in our air spaces which sends me gasping; while you remain indifferent as if your lungs have always been burning. I never set them on fire. It wasn’t me.
I miss the way you pluck out seeds in your heart and blow them into my insides. The flowers aren’t hiding. They have long been gone. Even weeds do not find it worthwhile to even try to exist.
We are dead.
You and I.
The fire did not kill us.
We are less fire and more dead-ice.
Yes, we are.
Sometimes I stop and just observe the current and everything else that either flows with it or go against it.
In that moment of stillness, I wonder why I’m here and if there’s anyone else noticing me in this messed-up world.
I make a splash and see that despite the hullabaloo, I have made ripples. I wonder if anyone will ever be affected by these tiny waves. I know it would be like asking for the moon to believe that it will.
I watch myself sink deeper into the sea.
In a few minutes, I shall be below see level.
When people tell me that the world is changing, I often try my best not to sigh or sing a merry tune. Responding with a sarcastic tone has never worked out well for people who have just learned to finally open their eyes.
I look at my world. It looks just as beautiful and sick. I wonder if I’ll ever get to learn how to use my eyes properly.
My fears are real. They come for me at night — when the world is silent but undead. They sit on the foot of my bed and watch me watch them. Sometimes, they speak in a language that although makes no sense in my head, is clearly the same language my heart uses.
My fears are real. They do not harm me when they stay with me but they break me in pieces before the sun breaks the stillness of the night. And they carry with them each piece when the moon has had enough watching.
I am fading. My fears are real. My Self, is only the essence of who I am. I am scattered everywhere and is nowhere here at the same time. My fears are real — even more than me.