Monday, May 17, 2010

Haruki Murakami | Norwegian Wood | 1987


Where did you go? You were so whole--once. Even when Naoko died, you were whole. Even when you called Midori and realized that you were so very, very alone, you were whole. Yet, in Hamburg, all that time later.. in Hamburg, you were barely a person. Just a voice, telling a story, so detached that it might have happened to someone whom you met on the Paris Metro half a lifetime ago. It's as though you existed in memories alone, just a shell with a myriad of recollections stored behind your eyes.

It's circular, I suppose. You lived, and then, eighteen years later, you were still alive, but only because you had that memory of what living was like. You could remember what life tasted like, what its colours were, but you couldn't for the life of you recreate them to a tangible notion for the present time. Perhaps, in another eighteen years, you'll find out what living is again, and you'll do more than merely exist. Who can say.

One day, maybe, let me know where you went, and with whom you ended up. It all seemed so final, so very final, and sometimes, I think I miss you. Last November and late at night, wandering through Vlaanderen fields myself, where the rain had leached all colour from the landscape, and what you said came to mind - of the cold November rains that drenched the earth and lent everything the gloomy air of a Flemish landscape - and I think I really did miss you, then. I wanted to find an all-night café with a payphone, and call you, and ask you where you were and where you'd been, and if you ever did return to Midori, or if that last phone call's silence was a mutual aeternum vale.

Yes, I often do wonder. Where did you go?