Murakami

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2000-08-16

It’s past midnight and I was multi-tasking. Watching the Daily Show’s coverage of the Democratic Convention, boiling a pot of spaghetti, and reading Birds of America by Lorrie Moore. I’ve always meant to read Birds but for some reason never got around to it. Well, now’s the time and I like it. So far my favorite sentence is:

There were moments bristling with deadness, when she looked out at her life and went “What?” Or worse, feeling interrupted and tired, “Wha---?” – Lorrie Moore

I read that line holding the book with one hand while testing a strand of spaghetti with another. And that in turn reminded me of another author, Haruki Murakami. One of his characters, an unemployed (check!) guy (check!) at home (check!) is cooking spaghetti (check!) at the start of one of his books. Murakami is a great writer and I really like that his characters sometimes actually stop and lay on the couch to read a book, or listen to music, or cook something for lunch. I think I could be any of his characters. At least in the parts where he is cooking spaghetti, or laying around reading books while listening to jazz.

Something else reminded me of him recently. I was outside my house waiting for a friend when I saw a pretty girl get off the Grand bus. She walked down my street while reading a book and I thought, cause I’m a big nerd, that’s the kinda girl I like. Reading while walking down the street. I think the last time I did that was down Montrose, reading the Butcher Boy, about four years ago. When I was a kid I used to do that all the time. It’s a great pleasure we should all bring back into our lives. You get a nice stroll in while reading something good. Anyway, the reason I thought of Murakami is that I thought, man, that’s the perfect girl for me! Which is sort of the subject of a Murakami short story. I almost asked her what she was reading but I didn’t want to bother her and be a creep. So she walked off and my friend showed up right behind her. And if I were a character in a Murakami book, something wondrous, heartbreaking, and a litte post-modern would have followed, involving strange women, ghosts, travel, and food. But I’m not; So I think I just gave my friend back a CD I borrowed from his girlfriend and forgot about the perfect walking while reading girl. Which in itself is post-modern in the worst way. Sigh. What’s a po-mo boy in love to do?

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