I had read two different stories by him by the time I started reading Men Without Women. Haruki’s stories always took me back to my teenage years. It should not be a surprise since he writes about his own teenage years in his books though his are called fiction, my past had actually had happened. Who knows maybe his fiction is not very fictitious after all.
I was very excited to be reading Men Without Women at first. Every story left me with suspicion of what was to come. Since I only have spare time on my way to work and home from work, those were the only times I could read my books. Every time my stopped was announced, it felt like the story I was reading at the time was screaming, “Finish reading me!”
Now, for some stories I felt so deep down in my spine, I actually missed my stops. Rather, I had to take the train back to my missed stop, which in the end gave me more time to read while waiting for the next train. I never complained. However, some stories made me ask more questions. The one with the snakes for example. I had a dream about it the night I started reading it. I had the second dream when I finished it. Nights followed days, days turned to nights. I finished the book with that one story on a day that I broke up with him. Men Without Women… What a meaningful word order he put them in, combined, wrote and kept writing. You would think it ends there but it does not. Your spine gets tingly, your hands sweaty and your tongue dry. Like a drug addict, you want to read more of his books.
After finishing the last story, I turned to Youtube and Google for some answers. All I could watch was the comments that degraded the author. They made him look very unprofessional and careless about his writing. I have to admit seeing good comments made me very happy. Not all were letting him degraded like that. On the other hand, every bad comment about him made me more furious. I agree that he uses a lot of ancient metaphors at times. However, these books are translated from Japanese. Can we set aside all the “professional writing structures and rules” and feel what he is actually trying to do? After all, by using simple rules he is getting his stories across to millions of people-in which same process he shoots at the center of the heart. Does it not matter at all? I guess it depends on those teenage years one had, how open one’s heart is and whether one looks for beauty or ugly.
I could make a list of traps for you not fall for but if I do, you never learn. I could also tell you what to-do and what not-to-do, again you would not learn. You would think you did and stop living, breathing maybe even loving. But listen, I am only I am because I have been who, with whom and where I have been to. My only truthful advice to you would be that. You have to live it.
Rest is time, money, memories, break-ups, salty tears, as well as hope, modernity of love, challenge to keep up with different type of people that are not up for the challenge like yourself, and maybe days to reminisce about. Me-mo…i..r. Let this be my memoir determined to share my hardcore, tough learned lessons.
Lesson 1- Don’t be scared to go for it.
Every relationship is there to teach you something. If you are about to get into a relationship that you are not sure about, go for it. If you never do, you will only regret you did not or think about the possibilities of it later on. Go for it. You can only know when you go for it. However, this is also one of the worst advice as well. To you it is the worst, to me it saves you time, both from your future regrets and blame games for not trying it now and the time that you would otherwise have been thinking about going for it or not.
Lesson 2- Make yourself visible
We all get it. You are busy, he is, she is busy, too. In this modern world, we are all bunch of busy people walking around to go places. Make that place, your destination. Make your destination your relationship. Take a walk, train, an Uber there. If YOU do not do it, one day someone else will. Make yourself visible to them, not hidden & online.
Lesson 3- Keep yourself from smelly environments.
Alcohol smells like alcohol. Trashcans smell like trash. A shaved and showered body smells like an invitation. Alcohol may or may not invite the wrong crowd to you but newly showered, beautifully moisturized body sure will get you who you want. Watch your smell, smell your crowd.
Lesson 4- Bikini Top Knitted Windproof ski pants
Make up your mind. For good or bad, there has to be some options you choose from. “Opportunity knocks only once”, they say but do not be fool enough to think this is the time to think about your one and only opportunity. Stop overthinking about it. What if it were not? What if it were? Find your ground, stand tall, dance under the rain and don’t worry about showering when you get inside. Enjoy the rain. Your tongue can catch one or two raindrops full of opportunities for you. Take the lead and make up your mind.
Lesson 5- If you are contemplating your own relationship, your friends will do, too.
Stop telling them everything. Listen to yourself. Listen to your heart. Then listen to your partner’s. Who knows maybe if you could keep your mouth shut for some time, your hearts could talk. Understand not everyone likes to talk and communicate like you. Stop complaining about your relationship to your friends all the time. Do it once in awhile. If you do it all the time what is the point of being in this relationship with your significant other anyways? You can’t even talk to your partner about anything. Don’t be a coward. Talk to your partner for better results. Keep friends out of this. Keep your friends close, but your partner closer.
Lesson 6- Amplify for a hopeful relationship
Sometimes we get hopeless if one little thing goes wrong when in a relationship. I was talking to my friend the other day and he told me that he never texted his date back again because he saw dirt in her one nail. :S I know! But hey he had no hopes from the beginning so he chose to go silent on that girl. HOWEVER, if you had hope in the beginning and you are still hoping that it HAS THE POTENTIAL to get better, then stop finding excuses to shut your partner up. Listen. Put their volume a little more higher than before. Hear it, hope to find a solution for it. Amplify the happiness along with the hopeful future that he or she might be able to give you someday.
Lesson 7- Seven is HEAVEN!
You either do ALL that there is to do to carry this relationship from one level to another or don’t, there is a HIGHER power above us all who/what knows everything better than you. Therefore, if after all the other six steps your relationship still sucks, take a deep breath and well, hope for the better. That is not to say your next one will be better. In fact, I can guarantee you that after dating someone for a long LONG time, the next one who comes is never enough. Yes, marvelous in the beginning yet will never beat your ex! (Unless you ex used to beat you or harm you in anyway. Because if you have to leave a relationship because of domestic violation and such, run as fast as you can. Do NOT look back.) But.. If that was not the case… then remember, the new person comes with his/ her own baggage.
Lesson 8- Relationships ATE me alive !
Good news: You are ALIVE! Bad news: You worry too much. Whether you are in a relationship or not, your focus determines your future. Focus on yourself. As one of my really awesome friend told me yesterday, ” You will be the one to see yourself in the mirror everyday. We need to take care of ourselves first. “
Maybe we could have been happier. Nevertheless, that could have been impermanent. All the hope- call it “spark” is gone out there somewhere in the mist of an ocean that is wide, endless and dark. It is not swimming against the current as it usually happens in the romance movies and books, neither is it fighting for its own free existence anymore. It has vanished somewhere at the bottom of nowhere in the grand vast dark and blue ocean. Don’t think it might still be found one random day by some scuba divers as it was the case with Titanic, because again this is no movie.
Fire burned it- our passion for each other- into little unseen ashes, then flew it towards the air; from where it had gone to the ocean, perhaps. Therefore, you can find the ashes of little pieces where there is no restoration possible, ever. This is not Titanic after all. All it can and it will be is memories in our heads for awhile, then possibly soon enough will it be left to the wolves to be eaten out there in the wild. We will move on. Memories will be left behind. Ashes will be stirred up, waves in the oceans will be moved; nothing floats everything drowns.
This is how it is done. There is no going back. As the saying goes, where there is will there is way. No one mentioned the outcomes when there is no will, yet it is not that easy to figure out. If there is no will power, there is no power in whatever it is. For us it was “us”. For you, it is “you”. For me it is nothing but questions these days. Goodbyes can be the echoes of ashes for now, in which you might see contact here and there. Then, the contact will disappear as well. Life is the totality of all that there is right? All that “there was” moments take place in the past tense. We are past tense. We were tense. Now we are tense in the past.
Great to be alive though.
Patterns only make us aware of more patterns. Once one is broken it is a hope that we get to break the others without realizing that we are burning the bridges to build new ones, breaking patterns to create new ones. Therefore, here I write on a notepad all that there is and there was about us so then I can build my own bridges soon enough, then maybe to burn them to build new ones with someone else. At the exact moment though, I can assure that my own bridges will take awhile to be built up again. Burning them, not considering their importance to self and believing in the possibility of impossible love stories, I am torn. Time can only help but it is not the medicine I need. It is me, the greater will power in me and the higher power that is bigger than me. In that power I trust, becoming a new pattern in my own shell is the greatest gift that I could ever give to self, my self. The only self I really have. Little love, little peace of mind and just the right amount of hope will just do me fine.
Self- courage is the teacher I love the most among the others. It gets me in trouble when it whispers me to go for a new person in a relationship, but afterwards it does not waste no time to heal me to make me better than any healers I could pay, stronger and self- effective. Now that it is time to move on to me, I can only get excited. All I need is new playlists, new songs, new photo albums and new breakfasts. By the time I am me again, I shall see the light at the end of the tunnel called, “relationship”.
How could I have known one day my patterns would have given me a chance to explore more than there was? Thank you love. Thank you the Highest of all the High Powers.
Lastly, thankful for “my sleeping” patterns: NOW IT IS THE TIME THAT I let go. I wake up. I am ready to receive.