Thursday, May 29, 2008

murakami moment

i'm closing in on the end of the wind-up bird chronicle and i was reading intensely on SK0467 OSL-CPH from 8:20 p.m. when i left the plane, my mind was definitely still on and even the book. i started down the B-concourse and looked up from my reverie to find myself surrounded by japanese people. there was a japanese girl right ahead of me, walking with some strange hitch in her gait. i had an odd pressure sensation in my left temple. a strong sense of disorientation of being propelled along the corridor in a mass of people. japanese people, speaking rapid japanese.

on my way to the baggage claim, i stopped off in the bathroom to splash some cold water on my face. i was waiting in line and a girl came out of a stall clearly marked "out of order," and i went in. it wasn't out of order. my sense of unreality increased.

then, the pressure still there in my left temple, i made my way to bag carousel 7, where it said 17 minutes 'til delivery on the sign for olso, but when i walked up, my bag was coming off the belt. i grabbed it and made my way to the metro, feeling like i was watching the entire scenario from down a long hallway.

i punched my ticket and got onto the train, which was leaving in 2 minutes. two stations later, i look out the window and there was another large group of japanese. i didn't see them get on the train, but then behind me, japanese was being spoken. this is not a normal occurrence in copenhagen, bear that in mind.

i had this really weird feeling that i couldn't shake off, that i had somehow entered the murakami book. that the words and the story were so powerful that i had somehow melded with them and was part of the story now, with all of its oddity unfolding around me, while i watched, with a strange pressure in my left temple...


Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

How surreal. I can't say I've had an experience like that, or at least not any that are coming to mind right now.
To be part of the story, any story, but one in which you are currently immersed, that's something.
I think there are some books I've loved that I wouldn't mind a moment like that, and others I enjoyed too but so dark that I wouldn't want to be part of it.
I've read 'The Third Policeman' for example, and in some ways I can compare this Murakami book- for the way he writes so matter-of-factly about an ordinary life and day to day experiences but underneath the normality is bubbling something tense and surreal and bordering on bizarre. 'The Third Policeman' scared me to pieces; I wouldn't want to step into any part of it. I'll try to think about which books I'd love to have a moment like that about. What interesting thoughts you have!

julochka said...

it has happened to me previously, but only with dostoevsky. i can make it happen by reading his underground man. which is bad enough, thank goodness it doesn't happen reading crime & punishment--a raskolnikov moment would be tough to explain!

wait, it has also happened with gogol--his short story, "the nose." it was so strong that i wrote a whole paper from the point of view of the nose and what it did while it was away...

i think it takes both a very special book and very special state of mind.

Elizabeth said...

This happens a lot to me. It is like I am totally locked in my own bubble and nothing can enter until it is related.