(translated by ici & Rj)
On a large bed, in a large room, I sat typing on the word processor.
The room was about 20 tatami-mats large with white walls and a white
ceiling. In the middle of the spacious room lay the bed, parallel to
the walls, its size is 2 meters wide and 3 meters long. It's a relief
that the bed was not laid down diagonally, for if it were, space-time
would be curved again. I do not do well with curved space-time. I sat
with my legs crossed at the foot of the bed, writing a letter to a
friend on my Fujitsu word processor. Scattered around the word
processor were photographs of waterfalls, sent to me in several
envelopes. At the head of the bed, lay Marianne. But, she was not
A while ago, as I was examining the photographs on the bed, Marianne
came in from the door that was behind me to the right.
"I feel tired. Can I lay down?"
She was short and slender for a Swede. Her straight, brown hair came to
about 17cm below her shoulders. Her large, light-brown eyes gave accent
to her round, sharp face. She was 28 and someone's wife. Who's I do not
know. She slipped into bed with a feverish blush on her face. As she
slipped in, I caught a glimpse of the sumptuous outline of her breasts,
unfit for her slender body, through the round neck of her white
Feeling a surge of instinctive desire, I held myself back. No, no,
no...I wiped away my fantacies and reminded myself that she was
someone's wife, and also ill. I began to examine the photographs again.
The photographs were all of waterfalls, about 48 in all. Some were
taken in winter, completely frozen. Some were taken in summer, but
seemed even more frozen due to the fast shutter speed. I was writing a
letter to a friend while choosing three good photographs to send to
Oh, I thought and asked Marianne,
"Have you taken your temperature?"
"No, I haven't..."
I got off the bed to get the thermometer and handed it to her.
"Put this under your arm, like this. It takes about three minutes. But
it's probably better to leave it for about five."
I climbed back on the bed and began typing on the word processor again.
From the antique radio that sits on top of a shelf about one meter tall
against the wall on my left, came the disc-jockey's cute voice.
"Hi everyone. How are you? Ashes are falling again today in the
Yamanashi area due to the eruption of Mt. Fuji. According to the
weather bureau, 15mm of ash will fall in Kofu city today. Now onto our
song. Let's start off with 'Schizos (are never alone) Part I & II' by
Jeff Waters and 'ANNIHILATOR', from their album 'Alice in Hell'!..."
The whole side of the room toward Marianne was a large window. Through
the lace curtains you could see the temperate broad-leaved forest. It
seems to have started to rain. But ashes do not fall here. They only
fall in Yamanashi.
"Do you think it's time?" asked Marianne.
"Yes, right." I answered and accepted the thermometer from her.
"38.2 degrees? You've got a high fever!"
"Do you want something to eat?"
At that moment, Marianne must have fallen asleep. Yes, you should
sleep. The moment one falls asleep always makes me wonder if you can
draw a line of distinction.
After asking her if she wanted something to eat, I noticed that I was
hungry. I poured some hot water into the cup-o-noodle from the pot next
to the radio and ate it standing there. As I was eating, I said to
myself, "Oh, Yea, I'll make that one the last photograph. That's three
in all." I had chosen one winter and one summer photograph, but had not
been able to choose a third. The last photograph, taken in summer, had
captured the moment when a trickle became a tiny waterfall soon after
it was born and began to flow. Because of the fast shutter speed, it
looked like a soft icicle reaching the ground with irregular glass
balls flying about it.
Marianne's breath played in harmony with Jeff's guitar. Despite her
fever, her face showed the happiness of a sleeping kitten, exhausted
after too much play. I turned the volume of the radio down about 20%,
left the cup-o-noodle container on the shelf and climbed back on the
bed to write the letter again.
I got tired after a while and decided to take a break. I got off the
bed carefully so as not to wake Marianne, and stepped out on to the
veranda. The rain was still gently wetting the leaves. The temperate
broad-leaved forest spread as far as the eye could see (Actually, the
eye could not see very far because of the misty weather...). Luckily,
this veranda was slightly higher than the height of the trees, and you
could see quite far on a clear day. I couldn't understand why the
ground was so flat. But, as far as the eye could see, stretched carpets
of green of different kinds. At the far end, it was difficult to tell
whether the surface was a temperate broad-leaved forest or the ocean
just from the way it looked. Since I could not make out a line of
distinction it probably doesn't merge into an ocean.
I took out a Winston from the cigarette case on my belt and a Zippo
from the left front pocket of my jeans and lit the cigarette. I blew
out the smoke. The very slight rain that might go unnoticed, was still
slowly wetting my hair. And, slowly soaking into my skin.
I went back into the room with my heavy body that had soaked up the
rain. I saw Marianne sitting on the bed with her legs folded to one
side. And..., she had turned eighteen.
"I didn't know you were up."
"Yes... I feel much better."
"Oh, that's good."
"Takashi, you don't seem surprised."
"It happens every so often."
IT COULDN'T BE. At least it was the first time I had ever seen it.
"Takashi, why don't we go out?"
"Yea, sure. I was just thinking about doing something different."
"So...Can we go to Carcassonne?"
"Ye.....a. OK...But it's a bit far."
Why Carcassonne? We are in Japan! I sighed thinking of the long drive
to Narita Airport. But, if Marianne wants to go, go we must.
We put our things together, left the room, got into the DATSUN pickup
truck parked out front and were on our way to Narita. Fortunately the
road was not crowded.
It was already dark when we finally saw the walls of Carcassonne
through the windshield of our rental Peugot 505. The city walls,
lighted up in Sodium-D orange, welcomed us with a mysterious glow.
We entered the cite.
First we have to find a place to stay. We found a
place with relative ease, for it was still early in the evening. Let's
put our things down and go out to eat.
While we were eating, Marianne said.
"Takashi, I have to tell you something...I'm sorry. I have to say
"Huh?...Oh, really. I'll miss you."
"Aren't you upset?"
"That's life, I take it. Here, they would say, C'est la vie."
After the meal we strolled for a while to cool off our faces, rosy with
wine. We went back to the hotel, took a shower and slept. Deeply, oh,
Rj's Chaotic Page