400 short stories: story 304

story: “On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One April Morning”

author: Haruki Murakami

year: between 1980 and 1991

where: kitchen table, Abu Dhabi

note: I’m unsure about the capitalization of that title. What I like about this story is that many people might find themselves in the initial situation. And I like that it doesn’t matter if you believe in love at first sight or not; the situation can exist either way.

a line: “This was something sure to be crammed full of warm secrets, like an antique clock build when peace filled the world.”

theme(s): Serendipity, true love, memory

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300 short stories:: story 193-198

story: “New York Mining Disaster”, “Airplane: Or, How He Talked to Himself as If Reciting Poetry”, “A Perfect Day for Kangaroos”, “The Ice Man”, “The Rise and Fall of Sharpie Cakes”

author: Haruki Murakami

year: 2006 (from Blind Willow, Sleeping Willow)

where: everywhere!

note: a batch of stories (I’m behind on my chronicling)

a line: “’Even after I’d lost almost all sensation, I still knew this: The husband here at the South Pole is not the husband I used to know. I couldn’t say how he’d changed, exactly, for he still was always thoughtful, always had kind words for me.’”

300 short stories:: story 190

story: “Birthday Girl”

author: Haruki Murakami

year: 2006

where: at the campus cafeteria (started on Tuesday, paused, finished on Wednesday)

note: intense déjà vécu

a line: “When the owner’s meal was ready at eight o’clock, she pushed the room service cart into the elevator and rode up to the sixth floor.”

300 short stories:: story 189

story: “Man-eating Cats”

author: Haruki Murakami

year: 2006

where: in palestra

note: a reread, a favorite, a fantasy!

a line: “The wind was the wind at the edge of the world. An inescapable retro color filled the place. It made me feel as if I were being quietly swallowed up by an alien reality, something foreign and just out of reach, vague yet strangely gentle. And the shadow of that substance colored the faces, the eyes, the skin of the people gathered in the harbor.”

300 short stories:: story 188

story: “The Year of Spaghetti”

author: Haruki Murakami

year: 2006 (originally 2005 in The New Yorker)

where: home, bed

note: Murakami just loves to weave in a mention of spaghetti in his long and short fiction; and this story (and his year of cooking and eating alone) makes me feel so content with my love of solitude.

a line: “Can you imagine how astonished the Italians would be if they knew that what they were exporting in 1971 was really loneliness?”