It’s all warm inside the big micro. I don’t know how but I know it’s going to take me home. Ah! such a lovely weather it is, only if it weren’t for the crowd inside the bus. Look at how many people are being cramped in, one stop after another.
Thankfully I’m safe here, cozy. I don’t like these eyes staring at me. Haven’t they seen my kind before?
Wait, hush! Someone is particularly starting at me. I know she’s a writer. I’m a rabbit, I should know these things. Super powers, you see.
Ah! the writer, those curious eyes hiding behind prescription glasses. I know she’s planning on writing about me now that my existence has become evident to her. But what she doesn’t know is that I have already written about her, inside my mind. Right now. Here, in these words.
Heavens! why can’t she write about the humans instead. But wait, I forgot that they re indeed extremely boring. You’d see a lot of them inside a micro bus, but a rabbit. Well well! It’s a treat I suppose.
My owner might be one of those good looking men in the world, but I’m cuter. And I know everyone around, especially the writer wants to pet me, run her hands through my white fluffy fur. But she won’t get to. No, she won’t. She’s far away from me.
Everyone is rather surprised at my calm nature. If the bus gets crowded, I hold on tightly to my owner’s arms. How wonderful it is to look at these humans wondering about us animals!
It’s getting really hot now. Some people get down, some people get in. My owner has been standing for a long time now! Poor creature! When will he get to sit and when will I have to stop worrying about accidentally falling off his strong arms?
The writer is still thinking about me. She thinks of me as a cute little being, but am I? I wonder! Oh wait the bus stops and hurray my owner finally gets the seat. I cling a little tighter as he sits down on the corner seat. Oh but now I can’t see the writer anymore. Maybe it’s good.
I’m going home.
I met a rabbit inside the micro bus and thought, what if the rabbit wanted to write about it, instead of me?
there’s nothing a warm cup
of tea cannot heal.
let us play
the broken piano
with a few misplaced keys,
come away with me,
as I take you
the time machine
conjured in words.
do not hide.
maybe for the first
and the last time.
I was halfway through Haruki Murakami’s South of the Border, West of the Sun when a thought suddenly struck me. Murakami is a master storyteller and I have been awestruck by the scale of how he imagines great patterns in simple lives. His first person narrative is haunting. It feels all too real. But this is not what struck me in this particular moment.
It was his Translator with a capital T.
South of the Border, West of the Sun is translated by Philip Gabriel.
I have been reading translated works for a long time, but surprisingly the idea never struck me before. Some people choose to live as translators, in the shadows of the author so that we may be able to relive the magic of stories that would otherwise have rarely reached us.
And I’d always thought that it is the author’s book. It is, it definitely is. But may be it is not just the author’s book anymore. It is not just Murakami’s words anymore. It also belongs to Gabriel, whose translation takes me as close as possible to what Murakami intended.
To the re-creators of the magic.