whimsical offerings

In love, stories on January 31, 2007 by carinasuyin

It was a beautiful afternoon, one that reminded me of gorgeous summer ones in Aalen. Into the bookstore I went, leaving the warmth behind the glass doors and headed straight towards the fiction area. I stopped in front of the M row and scanned the shelves for Murakami. Aahh, here we go! I picked up the only copy of The Elephant Vanishes available and looked through the titles of the short stories inside. ‘On seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful April morning’* was the title of the story that Kit wanted me to read.

A sad story, don’t you think?
Yes, that’s it, that is what I should have said to her.

With those last lines, I closed the book and leaned against the bookshelf. A huge grin appeared on my face, and from ear to ear it widened, threatening to transform me into one of Jim Henson’s muppets. I spilled out onto Orchard Road among a sea of pedestrians, the grin still on my face but in more normal proportions. Crossing the road as the pedestrian traffic lights blinked 18, 17, 16… I thought of why I never saw or remembered how my 100% perfect guy looked like in my dreams (and how it did not matter at all, not knowing while dreaming). Then I am reminded of the movie Turn Left, Turn Right and that Polish poem* in it. Somewhere between recalling the name of the poet and Takeshi Kaneshiro, I got lost making up a fictitious story about a boy and a girl who trade favourite passages from books as declarations of love across a distance, before finally snapping back into reality as I avoided a near collision with a guy in front of me.

Like the movie and the poem, the story aches with the possibility of a fairytale, a hope embedded in hearts wreathed with loneliness, more than they would ever care to admit. On this busy pedestrian crossing, as strangers traded glances in the briefest of moments, one can picture a bunch of stray thought bubbles born of different owners with the same longing, taking flight in the cool breeze of a sun-drenched afternoon. Like orphaned helium balloons, higher and higher they climb till appearing no more than just speckles of grey among cotton candy clouds. That possibility to some, may be a mere fantasy, yet to many, it is most certainly worthy of belief.

*On seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful April morningin The Elephant Vanishes, a collection of short stories by Haruki Murakami
and Love at First Sight,
a poem by Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska.


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