Translation Corner – Your Love is on the Brink of Death (3)

Your Love is on the Brink of Death (3)

——————————————————–Mieko, Kawakami

As though scouting for something, the woman kept gazing around every corner of high brand shops, while smoothly dashing out of the department store. She looked at her watch, only to know four hours are still left before an appointment with somebody else. This time, she ensures herself, she won’t be thrown out of anywhere.

She does not find any uneasiness surveying feelings of her own, so she begins to speed up in an attempt to brighten up herself. Although recently hard-heeled strong shoes have been prevailing, I prefer, while roaming around the street and glancing at the footwear of all female passers-by, she soliloquized herself as words are floating in her mind, to wear delicate high-heeled shoes. Because by doing so, my feet – from my ankles to my insteps – can appear so beauteously as though they were originally fabricated to shape wondrously her body parts. Even though she did not intend any purchases of shoes, she can enter any eye-catching shoe store, look merely at the image of her feet in the rectangular mirror standing right on the floor, and pretend to turn around elegantly before a salesperson approaches and talks to her, and get out of the shop sprightly feeling good.

Thereafter, she is, while pondering over how normally one can spend the four hours’ time, trying to create a picture in her mind: on the pave way where each individual passes by, the evening light of early winter is sprinkling and scattering all around, she unwaveringly screws up her eyes, and is taking a bird view elsewhere from the above.

Then, from the opposite of where she stands, captivated by the huge signboard on which the silhouette of an actress face was printed for a mobile phone commercial advertisement, she bumped herself against the shoulders of another woman head-on. Though hit accidentally and about to fall down sideways, she did make an effort to stand back. But she has yet landed on her buttocks, and she appears to be squatting down, propped by both palms of her hands which turned into white because of the marks left by the concrete, dented pavement, and the light-coloured skin of which, like some fluffy fledgling, has also been stripped off.

While seeing the face of the woman who brushes others’ hands away, and whom she has just hit, instead of apologizing, that woman scowled at her, and heaved a shriek, short sigh from the crack of her taut lips. It was as if one visible, sharp sigh. Big eyes. Wearing mini-short skirts, barefooted, with some fluffy boot-like materials stretching until the middle of her calves, bursting with strain, with purely white cheeks, she was still a young girl.

The woman swiftly turned her eyes away, and since she had got nothing to say, she stood up slowly and gradually, without being able to look still at the face of the young woman. She pinched away the black dust of her palms with her fingernails. Around the ankles of her high heeled shoes, she got a one-centimetre-long wound of scratch. As the young woman stayed still for a while, she finally reluctantly gave a glimpse of her face, and looking down at her from the top till the bottom, she tried hard not to let her mouth move a bit but made a sniffing sound with her nose, as though she was laughing at her whole body.


[Photo taken on 10th June, 2013 at Tokyo]


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