Translation Corner – Your Love is on the Brink of Death (9)

Your Love is on the Brink of Death (9)

———————————————-Mieko, Kawakami

The woman let out a gasp and said to herself: Pull yourself together. Once she cleared the throat she began to walk, straightening her spine, close to where the man was working. Try as casually as possible. Then she patted his shoulders, and uttered to him, “Hey!”  Come on. Smile. We’ve met just before, haven’t we? Do you remember about me? Aren’t you still working? But you know, upon my word, tissue paper is very important. For it’s really useful. Well, if you got nothing to do afterwards, shall we dine together?

The man, upon turning back after his shoulder had been tapped, saw a woman’s face so ghastly and gloomy that he thought of having seen in an instant some supernatural images. When he realized it, he had struck the woman down. Possibly because he wrung his hands with full strength while trying in the meantime to shake the woman’s face off from below his shoulders, the man could not, at that instant, recognize what he had struck down. Only that there was an unprecedented, lingering aftertaste of his right hand, which is absolutely not an evil to recollect. It was the first time in his life for him to inflict violence to others. Ecstatic over his first punch, the man tried strenuously hard to suppress his urgency to give a second blow to the fallen woman. He produced sounds as strange as some gibberish, jumped up and down at the same place, and then recovered his breath. What he did, from the eyes of the crowd, looked simply disgusting. The woman, before she had time to figure out what had happened to her own body, had fallen down. Her head’s being cruelly hit, she could not move even a bit. Among the crowd of people coming and going, some stopped to stare alternatively at the face of the man and the body of the woman which was couching upon the ground, trying to compare the two in a fidget. Yet more perfectly pretended that they had seen nothing from the beginning, not to mention their intention to avoid the trouble – the performance in which people always excel.

The closure of the woman’s handbag was widely open when it struck the ground, thus some of the exquisitely-packaged cosmetic products were scattered, the upper part of her wallet protruding. Her compact was flung slightly afar, the polished powder dispersed, the mirror smashed to bits and pieces. At a distant glance, they looked like some dehydrated bones of small animals. Even farther away, the dry, cracking sound created by the stamping of people’s boots onto the fragments of mirror could be heard. The woman without even given time to scream swooned at last while her cheek, battered with a total force of her own weight, was gradually oozed with blood. To adorn the concrete ground congruously, not even the slightest light presumably existing elsewhere would reach the darkness of tonight.

[The End]

[Featured image taken by James on 9th October, 2014]


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