1 " I think you still love me, but we can’t escape the fact that I’m not enough for you. I knew this was going to happen. So I’m not blaming you for falling in love with another woman. I’m not angry, either. I should be, but I’m not. I just feel pain. A lot of pain. I thought I could imagine how much this would hurt, but I was wrong. "
3 " Sometimes when I look at you, I feel I'm gazing at a distant star. It's dazzling, but the light is from tens of thousands of years ago.Maybe the star doesn't even exist any more. Yet sometimes that light seems more real to me than anything. "
4 " here she is, all mine, trying her best to give me all she can. How could I ever hurt her? But I didn’t understand then. That I could hurt somebody so badly she would never recover. That a person can, just by living, damage another human being beyond repair. "
5 " I like not only to be loved, but also to be told that I am loved. I am not sure that you are of the same mind. But the realm of silence is large enough beyond the grave. This is the world of light and speech, and I shall take leave to tell you that you are very dear. "
6 " For a long time, she held a special place in my heart. I kept this special place just for her, like a "Reserved" sign on a quiet corner table in a restaurant. Despite the fact that I was sure I'd never see her again. "
7 " Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire. "
8 " Once she called to invite me to a concert of Liszt piano concertos. The soloist was a famous South American pianist. I cleared my schedule and went with her to the concert hall at Ueno Park. The performance was brilliant. The soloist's technique was outstanding, the music both delicate and deep, and the pianist's heated emotions were there for all to feel. Still, even with my eyes closed, the music didn't sweep me away. A thin curtain stood between myself and pianist, and no matter how much I might try, I couldn't get to the other side. When I told Shimamoto this after the concert, she agreed."But what was wrong with the performance?" she asked. "I thought it was wonderful.""Don't you remember?" I said. "The record we used to listen to, at the end of the second movement there was this tiny scratch you could hear. Putchi! Putchi! Somehow, without that scratch, I can't get into the music!"Shimamoto laughed. "I wouldn't exactly call that art appreciation.""This has nothing to do with art. Let a bald vulture eat that up, for all I care. I don't care what anybody says; I like that scratch!""Maybe you're right," she admitted. "But what's this about a bald vulture? Regular vultures I know about--they eat corpses. But bald vultures?"In the train on the way home, I explained the difference in great detail.The difference in where they are born, their call, their mating periods. "The bald vulture lives by devouring art. The regular vulture lives by devouring the corpses of unknown people. They're completely different.""You're a strange one!" She laughed. And there in the train seat, ever so slightly, she moved her shoulder to touch mine. The one and only time in the past two months our bodies touched. "
10 " Even now, whenever I think of her, I envision a quiet Sunday morning. A gentle, clear day, just getting under way. No homework to do, just a Sunday when you could do what you wanted. She always gave me this kick-back-and-relax, Sunday-morning kind of feeling. "
11 " Shimamoto was in charge of the records. She'd take one from its jacket, place it carefully on the turntable without touching the grooves with her fingers, and, after making sure to brush the cartridge free of any dust with a tiny brush, lower the needle ever so gently onto the record. When the record was finished, she'd spray it and wipe it with a felt cloth. Finally she'd return the record to its jacket and its proper place on the shelf. Her father had taught her this procedure, and she followed his instructions with a terribly serious look on her face, her eyes narrowed, her breath held in check. Meanwhile, I was on the sofa, watching her every move. Only when the record was safely back on the shelf did she turn to me and give a little smile. And every time, this thought hit me: It wasn't a record she was handling. It was a fragile soul inside a glass bottle. "
13 " Because memory and sensations are so uncertain, so biased, we always rely on a certain reality-call it an alternate reality-to prove the reality of events. To what extent facts we recognize as such really are as they seem, and to what extent these are facts merely because we label them as such, is an impossible distinction to draw. Therefore, in order to pin down reality as reality, we need another reality to relativize the first. Yet that other reality requires a third reality to serve as its grounding. An endless chain is created within our consciousness, and it is the very maintenance of this chain that produces the sensation that we are actually here, that we ourselves exist. "
17 " I wasn't in love with her. And she didn't love me. For me the question of love was irrelevant. What I sought was the sense of being tossed about by some raging, savage force, in the midst of which lay something absolutely crucial. I had no idea what that was. But I wanted to thrust my hand right inside her body and touch it, whatever it was. "