…now, of course, I know exactly what I should have said to her. it would have been a long speech, though, far too long for me to have delivered it properly. the ideas I came up with are never very practical
oh, well. it would have started “once upon a time” and ended “a sad story, don’t you think?”
once upon a time, there lived a boy and a girl. the boy was eighteen and the girl sixteen. he was not unusually handsome, and she was not especially beautiful, they were just an oridanry lonely boy and an ordinary lonely girl, like all the others. but they believed with their whole hearts that somewhere in the world there lived a 100% perfect boy a the 100% perfect girl for them. yes, they believed in a miracle. and the miracle actually happened.
one day the two came upon each other on the corner of a street.
“this is amazing,” he said “I’ve been looking for you all my life. you may not believe this, but you’re the 100% perfect girl for me.”
“and you,” she said “are the 100% perfect boy for me, exactly as I’d pictured you in every detail. it’s like a dream.” they sat on a park bench, held hands, and told each other their stories hour after hour. they were not lonely anymore. they had found and been found by their 100% perfect other. it’s a miracle, a cosmic miracle.
as they sat and talked, however, a tiny, tiny silver of doubt took root in their hearts: was ti really all right for one’s dreams to come true so easily?
and so, when there came a moment lull in their conversation, the boy said to the girl “let’s test ourselves- just once. if we really are each other’s 100% perfect lovers, then sometime, somewhere, we will meet again without fail. and when that happens, and we know that we are the 100% perfect ones, we’ll marry then and there. what do you think?”
“yes,” she said “that’s exactly what we should do.”
and so they parted, she to the east, and he to the west.
the test they had agreed upon, however, was utterly unnecessary. they should never have undertaken it, because they really and truly were each other’s 100% perfect lovers. and it was a miracle that they even met. but it was impossible for them to know this, young as they were. the cold, indifferent waves of fate proceeded to toss them unmercifully.
one winter, both the boy and the girl came down with the season’s terrible influenza, and after drifting for weeks between life and death they lost all memory of their earlier years. when they awoke, their heads were as empty as young D.H. Lawrence’s piggy bank.
they were two bright, determined young people, however and though their unremitting efforts they were able to acquire once again the knowledge and feelings that qualified them to return as full-fledged members of society. heaven be praised they became truly upstanding citizens who knew how to transfer from one subway to another, who were fully capable of sending a special-delivery letter at the post office. indeed they even experienced love again, sometimes as much as 75% or even 85% love.
time passed with shocking swiftness, and soon the boy was thirty-two, the girl thirty.
one beautiful April morning, in search of a cup of coffee to start the day, the boy was walking from west to east, while the girl, intending to send a special-delivery letter. was walking from east to west, both along the same narrow street it the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo. they passed each other in the very center of the street. the faintest gleam of their lost memories glimmered for the briefest moment in their hearts. each felt a rumbling in the chest. and they knew:
she is the 100% perfect girl for me.
he is the 100% perfect boy for me.
but the glow of their memories was far too weak, and their thoughts no longer had clarity fo fourteen years earlier. with out a word, they passed each other, disappearing into the crowed.forever.
a sad story, don’t you think?
yes, that’s it, that is what I should have said to her.
absolutely love Murakami…