Haruki Murakami – Dance Dance Dance
I was jealous of Yuki. Here she was, thirteen years old, and everything, including misery, looked, if not wonderful, at least new. Music and places and people. So differetn from me. True, I’d been in her place before, but the world was a simpler place then. You got what you worked for, words meant something, things had beauty. But I wasn’t happy. I was an impossible kid at an impossible age. I wanted to be alone, felt good being alone, but never had the chance. I was locked in these two frames, home and school. I had this crush on a girl, which I didn’t know what to do about. I didn’t know what love meant. I was awkward and introverted. I wanted to rebel against my teachers and parents, but I didn’t know how. Whatever I did, I bungled. I was the exact opposite of Gotanda. Even so, there were times that I saw freshness and beauty. I could smell the air, and I really loved rock ‘n’ roll. Tears were warm, and girls were beautiful, like dreams. I liked movie theaters, the darkness and intimacy, and I liked the deep, sad summer nights.
“So what can i do now?” she spoke up a minute later.
“Nothing” i said. “just think about what comes before words. You owe that to the dead. As time goes on, you’ll understand. What lasts, lasts; what doesn’t, doesn’t; time solves most things. And those that time can’t solve, you have to solve yourself. is that too much to ask?”
“A little” she said, trying to smile.
“Well, of course it is,” i said, trying to smile too. “i doubt that this makes sense to most people. but i think i’m right. People die all the time. Life is a lot more fragile than we think. So you should treat others in a way that leaves no regrets. Fairly, and if possible, sincerely. It’s too easy not to make the effort, then weep and wring your hands after the person dies. Personally, I don’t buy it.”
I lay there, hating everything. The deaths were beyond comprehension, the aftertaste sickening. THe world of the living was obscene. I was powerless to do anything. People came and went, but once gone, they never came back. My hands smelled of death. I wouldnt be able to wash it off, like Gotanda said.