This Is What Murakami Meant | A Short Story

Her eyes swell up. I don’t want her to cry, but I cannot utter a word. She has too brilliant a mind to lose it over her heart.

We would have been perfect for each other, I know she believes it. We both love the same things. But for us to happen, we’d need another universe. We are here instead, and this isn’t going to happen.

I tell her, hers is the most brilliant mind I have ever come across. And I wished I could give her back the marvels she has given me. But I fall short. I’m only human, she might have been divine.

Admiration is what bonded us together. I have told her one too many times how much I adore her mind. When did she begin to blur the lines between the mind and the heart, I cannot tell.

‘I know it’s not your fault, not my fault, or anyone else. It’s just how it is. It’s just living,’ she says. A fine line of tear has already left her tiny eyes.

Living, the word echoes endlessly in my mind for a minute.

‘This is what Haruki Murakami meant,’ she says. ‘When he wrote, that a person can, just by living, damage another human being beyond repair.’

The words are too hard for either of us. But it has been said. Was she really beyond repair?

‘Maybe not beyond repair,’ she says realizing the harshess of the words. ‘But if you think of it, we don’t go repairing our heart. We just peel off the broken parts till new ones grow in. So it is beyond repair in one sense,’ she adds.

I told you, she has too brilliant a mind to lose it over her heart.

I knew Murakami was one of her favorite authors. I never read one myself. I don’t know if she was blaming me, or herself, or anyone for existing. Living was in itself a coiled reality. That we could live in so many different levels in the minds and hearts of others is both terrifying and amazing.

Either of us hadn’t done anything. She was hurting. And I felt guilty. But there was nothing either of us could do.

Wouldnt it have been so much easier if we could love the ones who loved us? Maybe Murakami knows the answer to this. Maybe he doesn’t. What did he really mean with that line afterall?

It doesn’t always hurt in the heart

It doesn’t always hurt in the heart.

Sometimes it hurts in the knees
or the feet,

when standing feels like a pain-
needing to crawl,
the surface disappears.

It doesn’t always hurt in the heart.

Sometimes it hurts in the head
or the hand,

when a line does not come
without a grammatical mistake,
for the veins have gone numb.

Sometimes it hurts in the eye
after tears have diluted
the very purpose they came for.

It doesn’t always hurt in the heart,
but it always begins with the same thud
of a picture, a person, a place.

It doesn’t always hurt in the heart,
but it does hurt somewhere.

Growing Up #18: A Storm Wave

There are days, aren’t there, when you feel as if the entire universe is imploding inside of you. They say our bones have composition of the stars, so indeed the universe does exist inside of us. We are all made of stardust. And this very stardust begins to ache from every corner for reasons we cannot yet decipher.

The crippling anxiety of growing up has become like a dance of the expanding universe, it keeps spreading away, stretching with it a part of us. It hurts, as it did when our bones expanded when we were younger. We were at least assured that we are going to be two inches taller soon. But the expansion of life feels rather unsure. What will become of it, what roads do they meet with, what are the realities and realms it will pass through? Nobody knows an answer, and all the answers are vastly different from one another.

Admitting we are unique, one of a kind, comes with the burden of accepting that our roads are bound to be very different. And yet we inch closer towards the crossroads of comparison. Isn’t it injustice? But wait, isn’t that just what we have been doing our whole lives, maybe even deriving some hidden pleasure out of it.

It is much more convoluted than what meets the eye. The heart is so very capable of feeling circumstances our minds will, perhaps, never be able to lay out on the table and segregate piece for piece; jumping from the apogee of a happy day to the nadirs of despair, the stomach turning itself inside out in its imaginary yet painful process. How capable is the heart and mind on their own, disobeying the commands of the master they have been given to.

What can we do then, when hit by a storm wave of thoughts that have no beginning and seem to have no end. They come, unannounced invited by the lyric of a song, the words of someone around, a memory both distant and close, circumstances we couldn’t alter. And they leave dilapidating the house we have so closely guarded our soul in.

This too shall pass, they say. Maybe it will.


A weekly blog on Growing Up – every Saturday because Saturdays are perfect for overthinking.