12th Sep 2009

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    1. My Novel Unforgettable' 5/44
      Mitsushiro Nakagawa

      All Translated by Yumi Ikeda .

      Kei’s eyes finally rested on Kaori as red neon ran on his forehead. Kei was dead drunk and abstracted for a while, looking down at the lights and the crowd of the town that came and went in silent. His glance was too uncertain to trace slowly tracks of stains on the old wall, not turned on Kaori.

      Kaori was staring at Kei with steady eyes. The look was like probing into Kei’s absent-mind to find out what he was thinking. A long silence which did not seem to melt for a long time continued for a while. Kaori looked away from Kei and took a sip of cocktail. Then Kaori said with a steady smile.
      "Well, I feel like I’ve been alone here."
      "I'm sorry…."
      “I thought you are such a boy.”
      "Such a boy? Might be right. I’m six years younger than you.”
      Kaori said once again with a smile, collecting herself.
      "Do you like drawing?”
      “How about you? You smile naturally at a guy pointing his camera at you?”

      Kaori stopped smiling and bit her lower lip. She gave a sulky face and her cheeks stiffened. After taking a big deep breath, she looked at the intricate illumination again. Any color shone clearly over the white, clear, softly- swollen cheeks.

      "I ...wanted to know music more."
      "That's all." she added, and took a black hemp jacket on the back of a chair. After she suddenly stood up, a series of the high sound of high heels was heard twice in Kei's ears.

      Kaori passed through at a quick pace between crowded tables. A couple at a table near the exit looked back to see how things go when Kaori was paying the bill. Kei ran after Kaori ignoring their eyes.

      The lukewarm chill hung in the air at the narrow landing of the building. Kaori was looking up a lamp of a descending elevator silently, with only her eyes turned up. Kei blocked Kaori’s way in a fluster.
      “Sorry, I apologize. Today is the first time I met you.…”
      "You don’t to have to."
      “Oh, I almost forgot …..” Kaori said, and opened her handbag. Several paperbacks without the book jackets and a white vanity bag were casually thrown in it.
      "This is for you.”?
      It was “The Stranger” by Camus. The color of the cover has faded out to yellow. It was a book Kei had finished reading it at 15 during the summer vacation. Kei received it behind him and stuck it into a pocket of 501 jeans. Then he got aggressive, stepping back to avoid a door which was open.
      "Hey, I am not Meursault.”
      “Oh, you know him? As I thought, you are a good reader.?A painter knows everything?”

      Kaori said so without giving eyes to Kei and looked at the lights through the window. He always felt that the lights in Shibuya is somewhat different from Shinjyuku, perhaps a kind of different colors are mixed with the lights in Shibuya. After Kei looked at Kaori’s suit appearance again, he cast his eyes down to the 501 jeans and the dirty Converse sneakers. Obviously there was no point of contact between Kaori and Kei. It is very hard to find things in common. I am totally different creature, different from those who enjoy drinking at a cozy bar. Kei heaved a deep sigh to himself and looked at Kaori who fell silent.

      Kaori's forelock swayed feebly while going down stairs. Her precocious look or manner that existed a little while ago had disappeared completely. Kei stared her in the profile. The surface of black pupil swells with the thin transparent film, and the lights of the town, which were inhaled, wavers dimly in the back of her eyes. Kei's back was stuck out hard. Kei tried to touch the tip of her finger which turned white gripping the handrail hard. But he suddenly stopped it. Kaori's lip was thinly open.

      "You don't understand anything … But you are saucy as if you know everything … you made me wait for 30 minutes and … You don’t think about how I felt when I came here, not even trying to think … Get me irritated …Really disgusting!"

      Kaori's lip trembled feebly. She turned round slowly and hold Kei's chin up. The line of shredded tears thinly extended over Kaori's cheeks. The lights of Shibuya break lengthwise and flow over her shaking hair. Kaori's muffled breath fell over Kei's eyelid and stayed in his chest through her lips, and a silence followed.

      Her tears looked so sweet. The lines of lights fly up, overlapping each other and fluttering over her trembling hair.

      Kaori slowly kept Kei's shoulder from her and wiped tears with the back of her hand. She looked like an innocent girl who has no cares.
      “I just wanted to meet you. To know more about you.”
      “Why so much?"
      "?hy? You need such a reason?"
      Kaori said after she breathed hard and took heart.
      “Well, maybe, a guy of your age could not understand words. Let me take to your room.”

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