Saturday, March 22, 2014

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki

Mr. Wind-Up Bird Haruki Murakami, portrait drawing, pencil, charcoal on A4 drawing paper.

Spend your money on the things money can buy. Spend your time on the things money can’t buy.
Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle 

One fine evening, before two moons were shining on the world and long before cities and public transport were overcrowded by the Little People, the famous writer Haruki Murakami returned home from the shopping mall. Clasping a bag with groceries he dragged himself up the 6 flights of stairs to his apartment. He paused on the stairhead, regaining his breath, heart pounding. "Not enough training. Not enough training. And not enough training...", Murakami gasped and opened the door.

A hamster wearing metal-rimmed glasses and a Superdry T shirt was standing in the entrance, hands on his hips.
"Murakami", the little gnawer demanded, "why aren't you on Twitter?"
Murakami stared at the hamster in disbelief. Oranges and a package of cigarettes dropped on the floor, one after another. Slowly, almost consequently.
"Didn't you quit smoking?" the hamster asked in an accusatory tone.
Murakami set the bag calmly on the floor. "The past increases, the future recedes. Possibilities decreasing, regrets mounting." He knelt, hastily pocketed the cigarettes and started to pick up the fruit. "Twitter, eh?" he murmured annoyed. "People leave strange little memories of themselves behind when they die..." He got up again and shut the entrance door.
"Come on, Murakami", the rodent insisted. "Your followers would be legion!"
Murakami shook his head. "What’s the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why?"
He took a disposable lighter from a pocket of his worn out jacket, lit a cigarette, inhaled deeply and let out the smoke in a continuous blow through his nostrils.
The hamster tried to wave away the smoke with his little paw. A gesture, as useless as criminative.
"Well - terrific self-promotion, that's what I would say!" the pet answered and pointed at the acclaimed author. "You - you would be a twittering god, a Wind-Up Bird of prey, sort of!"
The hamster giggled about the metaphor.
Murakami did not look amused. He went over to his little kitchen, placed the bag on the table and started to put groceries away in the fridge. "I'm a very ordinary human being", he said over his shoulder with the cigarette clinched between his teeth, "I just happen to like reading books."
The hamster hopped cheerfully into the kitchen. "Reading, right! So what about a blog then? Did you ever consider to have your own blog? Out there..." He pointed into the dark outside the kitchen window. "... out there everybody is yearning for your view of the world! Updated on a daily basis!"
"So the fact that I’m me and no one else is one of my greatest assets?"
"Exactly! Now we're talking! Just be yourself. Just be Haruki Murakami!"
"I am nothing. I’m like someone who’s been thrown into the ocean at night, floating all alone. I reach out, but no one is there. I call out, but no one answers. I have no connection to anything." A package of pasta nearly fell from his hand. He managed to grab it with almost acrobatic precision. Smoke was getting in his eyes.
The little gnawer was getting seriously excited now. "That's where I come into play, buddy. I can connect you to EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY!"
"I’m the kind of person who likes to be by himself. To put a finer point on it, I’m the type of person who doesn’t find it painful to be alone. I find spending an hour or two every day running alone, not speaking to anyone, as well as four or five hours alone at my desk, to be neither difficult nor boring", Murakami said, exhaling smoke through his nostrils.
"You know what: You're exactly like in your novels - you should at least be on Facebook! Think of all the instant likes you would get!"
Murakami was holding the cigarette stub between the fingertips, pointed inwards to the palm, gathering his thoughts. Suddenly, he opened the kitchen window, flipped the cigarette stub out, then grabbed the protesting hamster and held him out the window.
"Hold on - what are you doing? You can't do this", the hamster screamed. "That's right, always pick on the little guy!"
"Don't feel sorry for yourself. Only assholes do that." Murakami loosened his grip. The shrieking hamster vanished in the dark.

Murakami shrugged. "You can keep as quiet as you like, but one of these days somebody is going to find you...", he sighed, opened the fridge and poured himself a Sapporo Lager Beer.

Murakami workspace: drawing, computer, Wacom Cintiq and my daughter's unicorn.

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