From Drive My Car:
He wasn’t good at small talk. While he didn’t dislike talking to people he knew well about things that mattered, he otherwise preferred to remain silent.
Because in the final analysis, the language we speak constitutes who we are as people
From An Independent Organ:
The deep sense of loss after you’ve met the woman you love, have made love, then said goodbye. Like you’re suffocating. The same emotion hasn’t changed at all in a thousand years. I’ve never had this feeling up till now, and it makes me realize how incomplete I’ve been, as a person. I was a little late in noticing this, though.
“Who in the world am I? I’ve really been wondering about this,” he repeated.
“That is a difficult question,” Tokai said. He nodded a couple of times, as if confirming this. He seemed to have missed the hint of sarcasm in my words.
“Who am I?” he went on. “Up until now I’ve worked as a cosmetic surgeon and never had any doubts about it. Graduated from the plastic surgery department of med school, worked first with my father as his assistant, then took over the clinic when his eyes started to go and he retired. Maybe I shouldn’t say this, but I’m a pretty skilled surgeon. The world of plastic surgery can be pretty seedy, and there are some clinics that put out splashy advertising but do mediocre work. I’ve always been conscientious about my work, and I’ve never had any major problems with my clients. I’m proud of this as a professional. I’m happy with my private life, too. I have a lot of friends, and have stayed healthy up till now. I’m enjoying life. But still these days I’ve often wondered, Who in the world am I? And very seriously at that. If you took away my career as a plastic surgeon, and the happy environment I’m living in, and threw me out into the world, with no explanation, and with everything stripped away – what in the world would I be?
To lose all contact with women was, in the end, to lose that connection. What his time spent with women offered was the opportunity to be embraced by reality, on the one hand, while negating it entirely on the other.
From Samsa in Love:
“Everything is blowing up around us, but there are still those who care about a broken lock, and others who are dutiful enough to try to fix it… But maybe that’s the way it should be. Maybe working on the little things as dutifully and honestly as we can is how we stay sane when the world is falling apart.”
Photo by Violetta Kaszubowska