Past friendships plus a shot of Murakami

In the 80’s movie Back to the Future, Marty McFly had to travel to the past to straighten out his present life. I needed a voice from my recent past to help me.

For me, there’s nothing like a long conversation with Kuchi to put things in perspective. He doesn’t even have to say anything important, deep or anything remotely Confucius-ish. Simply hearing him say “hi, honey, how are you?” significantly reduces my neurosis and my tendency to over-analyze and agonize over everything I’ve done since my supposed crucial moment. Thanks, Kuch. I’m glad we’re such good friends. 🙂 And I missed you, too. 🙂


Now that I’ve finished Haruki Murakami’s Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, I’ve been increasingly curious about the more popular Kafka on the Shore. I’ve read the collection of short stories and now I wonder what it’s like to read a full length novel by a writer who can make the extremely ordinary sound fascinating. His plots range from introspective themes like Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman to the (almost) absurd like A Shinagawa Monkey.

An excerpt from A “Poor Aunt” Story:

Perhaps it was the tiny punishment that had been prepared for me. A poor aunt–a little one–was stuck to my back.

I first realized she was there in the middle of August. Not that anything in particular happened to alert me to her presence. I simply felt it one day: I had a poor aunt there on by back.

It was not an unpleasant sensation. She wasn’t especially heavy. She didn’t puff bad breath across my shoulder. She was just stuck there, on my back, like a bleached shadow. People had to look hard even to realize she was there. True, the cats I shared my apartment with gave her suspicious looks for the first few days, but as soon as they understood that she had no designs on their territory, they got used to her.

Curious. 😀


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