THE ADDENDUM is a showcase of my favorite writings. My personal hope is that others will be able to enjoy and appreciate these works, and possibly serve as a hook for other writings by the authors.
<< addendum index
Norwegian Wood (an excerpt)
by Haruki Murakami
Folding her arms and closing her eyes, Hatsumi sank back into
the corner of the seat. Her small gold earrings caught the light
as the taxi swayed. Her midnight blue dress seemed to have been
made to match the darkness of the cab. Every now and then her thinly
daubed, beautifully formed lips would quiver slightly as if she
had caught herself on the verge of talking to herself. Watching
her, I could see why Nagasawa had chosen her as his special companion.
There were any number of women more beautiful than Hatsumi, and
Nagasawa could have made any of them his. But Hatsumi had some quality
that could send a tremor through your heart. It was nothing forceful.
The power she exerted was a subtle thing, but it called forth deep
resonances. I watched her all the way to Shibuya, and wondered,
without ever finding an answer, what this emotional reverberation
that I was feeling could be.
It finally hit me some dozen or so years later. I had come to Santa
Fe to interview a painter and was sitting in a local pizza parlor,
drinking beer and eating pizza and watching a miraculously beautiful
sunset. Everything was soaked in brilliant redmy hand, the
plate, the table, the worldas if some special kind of fruit
juice had splashed down on everything. In the midst of this overwhelming
sunset, the image of Hatsumi flashed into my mind, and in that moment
I understood what that tremor of the heart had been. It was a kind
of childhood longing that had always remainedand would forever
remainunfulfilled. I had forgotten the existence of such innocent,
all-but-seared-in longing: forgotten for years to remember what
such feelings had ever existed inside of me. What Hatsumi had stirred
in me was a part of my very self that had long lain dormant. And
when the realization struck me, it aroused such sorrow I almost
burst into tears. She had been an absolutely special woman. Someone
should have done somethinganythingto save her.
But neither Nagasawa nor I could have managed that. As so many of
those I knew had done, Hatsumi reached a certain stage in her life
and decidedalmost on the spur of the momentto end it.
Two years after Nagasawa left for Germany, she married, and two
years after that she slashed her wrists with a razor blade.
It was Nagasawa, of course, who told me what had happened. His letter
from Bonn said this: Hatsumis death has extinguished
something. This is unbearably sad and painful, even to me.
I ripped his letter to shreds and threw it away. I never wrote to