“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 .
Today, the sky was beautiful. I went out with the people I love. There were only a few cars on the road but the line in the restaurant was long. The coffee I ordered was a bit too strong for my taste and my favorite Mango Graham cake was too dry. The ambiance in the cafe shop was reassuring and warm.
I guess some parts of life are clear-cut dualisms.
I cannot say that it is what makes life beautiful;
but life is beautiful nonetheless.
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.
I tried to leave behind thoughts and feelings of emptiness while I closed another Murakami book I borrowed from the library. Of course Murakami’s effect on me did not permit me to do so. These never-ending thoughts lingered in my mind like liquid cough syrup. I hated the way these thoughts stay and do nothing there. They just stay — much like the pungent smell of a coworker’s perfume.
“Is it possible, finally for one human being to achieve perfect understanding of another?”
Rather than wondering whether this is possible, the question of whether anyone would care so much to really try to understand and get close enough to me — my essence is bugging me. I know I’m a difficult person to uncover and much more, to understand. But that’s not the point. I’m not scared of that. In fact, I am completely aware of that. What worries me is whether anyone would even put an effort to try.
Would anyone get so close enough to knowing that I don’t like pineapples on dishes but would kill to have that ice cold pineapple juice? That the smell of fresh laundry comforts me as much as a cup of warm coffee. That the sound of the neighbors fighting or arguing gets me anxious or that I do not like my hair being touched.
I can go on and on for a long time… but would anyone even care enough to ask or even wonder?
“Would I ever see the rest? Or would I grow old and die without ever really knowing her?”
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.