Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Deeper Into A Murakami Novel continued

When you stopped yourself and thought about things hard enough, usually after a bottle of wine was emptied and the ashtray had been piled full-up, you realized that J.'s disappearance made perfect sense. There were a number of reasons, all perfectly coherent and logical, that laid themselves out before you which, even through the haze of the liquor, were undeniably clear. The future itself was always something J. felt uncomfortable about discussing. Still, not talking about it allowed it to unfold itself, as if almost by some magical force which also kept you to him. The promise, when it was ever spoken, was only to "be there"--a projection into that unknown, untalked about abyss. It was into that abyss that J. disappeared into.

It was three weeks ago that he left. Classes had started again; your students vivacious and eager as always, your colleagues jovial and perpetually aloof. The folds of the books that lay open, spines cracked, pages heavily marked and annotated, had, once again, become your refuge. They became his arms but their embrace was more total: every sentence opened itself to you, reaching out to you, and then holding you to them with steely insistence. You remembered why the text was your lover in the first place, the return to a primordial state of total envelopment.

You had let J.'s arms grow more and more slack, less emphatic. He had a rival lover he could never best. After four years of this gradual disengagement he finally disappeared. And you had adjusted yourself to his absence.

Once, when you had just fallen in love with him, as coursework was impending, he guffawed at the sex/gender dichotomy. Lacking any will to patience, you had lost your cool. My body, you snarled, is political resistance. It does not bend to the contours of the demands made of it from every angle. It stands erect when it can, and it harbors always an irrepressible need to revolt, to scream, to never, never be cowed into denying itself. My body is fluid and filth, but it is your fluid and filth, too, and if you can't love this, then I'm going home. I refuse to deny my pleasures, my jokes, my irony, to accommodate your anxiety.

It was your body, you thought as your rode home on your bicycle, battered by the wind off the lake, that he was assaulting.

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