"Jail is the government's way of sending you to your room."
- J. Seinfeld
Sunday, August 20, 2006
There are some boys who think they've walked right out of a Murakami universe. They are a standard lot (if you've read any Murakami), though they do come cloaked in some variety. If you look close enough, you'll find your very own local Toru Okada.
Mine sports a head of curly hair and a scowl. With hands in his pockets, he strolls into the neighbourhood Hello Cafe nonchalantly every day and mulls over an expresso. On weekends I see him tapping his feet to the jazz band that plays in town. It appears that the Girl from Ipanema isn't on the scene yet. And it is unlikely that my Toru thinks What A Wonderful World it is.
He is, predictably, one of two siblings (the older sister being happily married with a child on the way) and not on talking terms with the parents against whom this aging rebellion is waged. I reckon they're suitably unimpressed. He works in advertising and thinks all the world's a sham. His evening meals are often eggs on toast and his shirts are never ironed.
Now, the Toru Okada of Murakamiland is an aspirational figure for many a male facing an internal identity crisis it seems. He is a bit of Holden Caulfield and Meursault and Agastya Sen all at once, of your local hybrid culture. Toru behaves as if there is a seamless link between what he wants to be and what he is. This nihilist alien lives in a transformed magical land where every day happenings tread the line between the known and the unknown. It would, after all, be tragic to be ordinary.
His interest in you is questionable. His curiosity is not always fresh and he claims to have a tendency to get embroiled in absurd situations. What you see is not what you get. The impersonators of Murakami's Toru Okada often add a twist to these basic features. So you might have a flamboyant Okada or one with a poetic lisp. Mine, like I said, has curly hair, wears a scowl and has a dimple I have never seen. I know I will soon have to leave him but I know just as well that another Toru will walk down my corridor or sit next to me in class. And Murakamiland will be here again.
At Hello today Toru gave me a mysterious smile. What I didn't realise is that I crushed him with mine. Because he told me every man is an island.
Posted by Snake Anthony at 9:37 PM