These are my thoughts as I read Haruki Murakami's "On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning." They will be disjointed and weird, but whatever. They are simply notes to myself.
Geep! We're in Tokyo! Big cultural gap, anyone?
This guy is lame. I mean, I know I am shallow and everything, but he didn't really he see her or anything, and yet she was perfect for him? WHY??? And what does he want to do with her? Not sex or anything like that like you would expect (think: 1984 with Winston, the first thing he wanted to do with Julie was rape her--not very nice, but still). He wants to talk to her about fate. Fate. There was this commercial on the radio that "summarized" Serendipity" and it consisted of this annoying female voice saying ever couple seconds or so, "It must be fate!" It annoyed me to no end. That is why I remember it so vividly.
So... I think the other guy the MC was talking to was obviously more of the Winston-type.
There is another thing that this is reminding me so far. There was this one random unicorn short story I read (a really weird one... the unicorn got gang-raped in the end... O_o) but it had to do with two ghosts meeting each other who were condemned to hell, unless they could work something out. Each had the opposite sin--an excess in love/lust for one and an excess of abstinence for the other--and they had to mingle together, to love each other fully and without any reservation. T'was interesting. The main character in that was also sort of a wimp, but at least he was a more forceful wimp.
AHA! SO HE DOES WANT SEX! Maybe he has more balls than I thought he did. Though he says, "we might end in bed." With his show of manliness, that may just mean Parcheesi. Hmmm...
Yay for bad one-liners?
And now she's gone! That may be a good thing. GOD, HE IS SUCH A WIMP.
A fairy tale. Oh god, he needs to grow up. I mean, seriously. A fairy tale? Obviously I am totally not the 100% Perfect Girl for him because I would probably laugh in his face or give him a really, really, really weird look and I would have made him fall in pieces. Hehehe, pieces... like the Backstreet Boys. <3
The fairy tale was lame. Seriously. He's glossing over so many things that it is quite unbearable. The first assumption seems to be that there is somebody who is 100% perfect for you, and thus will always be 100% perfect for you. But obviously that CAN'T BE THE CASE. If they were still perfect for each other, then they would meet each other happily, because they would love each other 100%. Or is this the case? Let's think about this. They left each other, though they both "knew" that they were 100% perfect for each other. There must be something important with the title, with the 100%. It might be a play on numbers, since literary folks sometimes make fun of math. :P Hmmmmmm...
So! What it could mean is that love is not certain. That you can't quantify it and that you can't say, "This person is 100% for me, because that will just backfire. Because it can't be quantified.
A question: Do the Japanese people believe in reincarnation? If that is the case, which I think it might be (I've forgotten) then this story can have an interesting dynamic to it, so that they might have met in a different life. This fairy tale, admittedly, could be turned into a myth. What emphasizes this fact is that the humans seem to be forgotten gods, in a way. "She's walking east to west, and I west to east." That sentence implies that she is the sun goddess and he is the moon god. A quick look up on Japanese mythology proves that this seems to be a correct statement: the sun goddess is a lady named Amaterasu and the moon god is Tsukuyomi.
This brings really really exciting new prospects. Maybe this is not just a stupid story about a man meeting a lady and then quickly going away. Maybe this is a metaphor, something poetic to describe a solar eclipse! Upon another quick look up, I found that there *was* a total solar eclipse that was visible in 1981--but it was in July. Still, the story was written in 1993, so maybe there was some poetic license involved. Doing some more research, I find that in April, the cherry trees blossom! This is very very important to Japan and it is a time where people simply relax and enjoy each other's company. The cherry tree blossom also holds interesting symbolism. Wikipedia says, "In Japan, cherry blossoms symbolize the transience of life because of their short blooming times." So, from being a metaphor of a solar eclipse, this becomes an event where the divine meet each other in a moment of peace and celebration, just briefly, and then fade away, only to have a blurry feeling of disconnect with each other. So the gods do not connect with each other and everything just fades away, in monotony.
However, this symbolism doesn't quite connect with some things. The narrator of this story seems to be very simple, and the way he describes the woman, as a lover fourteen years ago, didn't quite make sense. This story would have to be significant, in order for the author to write so many words about it. A quick look up on solar eclipses confirms that at least that part makes sense -- there was a total solar eclipse in 1967, one which nobody could see. In the story, such a meeting might not have existed, and in reality, this total solar eclipse would have been not really cared for, so this lines up with the story. They met up in another place, another time, so that no one but they would see.
Another interesting thought, from Wikipedia, detailing Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi:
After climbing a celestial ladder, Tsukuyomi lived in the heavens, also known as Takamagahara, with his sister Amaterasu, the sun goddess.
Tsukuyomi angered Amaterasu when he killed Uke Mochi, the goddess of food. Amaterasu once sent Tsukuyomi to represent her at a feast presented by Uke Mochi. The goddess made the food by turning to the ocean and spitting out a fish, then facing the forest and game came out of her mouth, and finally turned to a rice paddy and coughed up a bowl of rice. Tsukuyomi was utterly disgusted by the fact that, although it looked exquisite, the meal was made in a disgusting manner, and so he killed her.
Soon, Amaterasu learned what happened and she was so angry that she refused to ever look at Tsukuyomi again, forever moving to another part of the sky. This is the reason that day and night are never together. In later versions of this myth, Uke Mochi is killed by Susanoo.
They will never meet.
Okay, enough! Now, to get this organized...