This weekend I escaped. Literally.
This job is pretty intense. Often, it just hits me, usually at the most absurd moments, like when I am handwriting a letter to the president of an entire country, or riding in a tricycle in a three-piece suit, briefcase in hand, or when I attend an event at a five-star hotel where champagne flows freely and celebrities are in attendance: this job is crazy. I could never have imagined just a few months ago that I would be here, doing what I do.
It’s amazing, but sometimes it’s a lot. Of everything. So sometimes, I need to get away.
I realized that I wanted this weekend was not to visit any exotic beaches or board any airplanes, but to have what I like to call a Haruki Murakami weekend. Not a weekend spent reading Murakami, necessarily, though I am well into Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, working my way backwards after Kafka on the Shore, Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and After Dark. As soon as I can get my hands on it, I’ll be elbow-deep in What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. My fantasy is to fly to Tokyo one weekend and meet him in some little cafe, just to talk for a few hours over coffee so he could tell me his stories in person and I could ask him all the questions I want to ask… But anyways…
I love Murakami and the way he writes and the way he describes everything. I especially love that his characters generally spend a lot of time doing nothing. They lounge in libraries, take long walks, sit on park benches for hours at a time. They spend days just listening to jazz and drinking whiskey, or reading books and drinking tea, or just lying around thinking, taking in all the details about themselves and their lives, contemplating everything and nothing and letting their minds wander aimlessly. They linger over bowls of noodles and eat greasy food at late-night cafes. And this is what I wanted. Just to do nothing, and not have to justify it.
Okay, Murakami’s characters also usually end up talking to cats, or meeting ghosts, or having some kind of supernatural experience. But they’re mostly just doing life. And every time I read a book, I wish I was there with them. Or him.
So I holed myself up in a hotel just twenty minutes from where I live, and did absolutely nothing. I slept in, ate a huge breakfast, swam in the pool, slept again, read my book, watched movies, and ordered grilled fish and vegetables from room service for dinner. I took a long bath and stared out the window and repeated it all the next day. I didn’t talk to anyone, didn’t take any phone calls, didn’t send any emails. And it was just as I imagined it could be. Thank you, Murakami, for your inspiration.
Oh, and PS, seeing as Christmas season is coming up *ahem-momanddad-ahem*, I really hope someone decides to fill my stocking with this: 2009 Murakami Diary. Eee!!!