Men without Women – An Excerpt

I tried to collect fragments of clues as to her whereabouts, in all sorts of places and from all sorts of people. But these were nothing but scraps, assorted bits and pieces. No matter how many you collect, fragments are still just that. Her essence always vanished like a mirage. And from land, the horizon was infinite. As was the horizon at sea. I busily chased it, moving from point to point—from Bombay to Cape Town to Reykjavik to the Bahamas. I made the rounds of every town with a harbor, but by the time I arrived, she was already gone. Only a faint trace of her warmth remained on an unmade bed. Her scarf with its whirlpool design lay hanging on the back of a chair. A half-read book, its pages open, on a table. Half-dry stockings hung out to dry in the bathroom. But she was no longer there.

Cunning sailors around the world sensed me coming, and quickly snatched her away and hid her once more. By this time, of course, I’m no longer fourteen. I’m more suntanned, and tougher. My beard is thicker and I know the difference between a metaphor and a simile. But a part of me is still fourteen. And the part of me that’s forever fourteen waits, very patiently, for a gentle west wind to stroke my innocent penis. Wherever that west wind blows, M will surely be found.
That’s M to me.

A woman who never stays in one place.
But not a woman who would take her own life.

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Men without Women, Haruki Murakami