i can say with certainty that i am a Murakami fan. he is such a good writer. he captures simple human emotions with such beautiful imagery using words that it’s hard not to become enamored with his novels.

one other thing that suprises me with his writing is how vividly he paints sex. i’m not talking just about the act itself but the feelings before and after and sometimes the memory that lingers on.

this book is a simple love story. but when is a love story ever simple right?

“… So I made up my mind I was going to find someone who would love me unconditionally three hundred and sixty-five days a year. I was still in elementary school at that time — fifth or sixth grade — but I made up my mind once and for all.”

“Wow,” I said. “And did your search pay off?”

“That’s the hard part,” said Midori. She watched the rising smoke for a while, thinking. “I guess I’ve been waiting so long I’m looking for perfection. That makes it tough.

“Waiting for the perfect love?”

“No, even I know better than that. I’m looking for selfishness. Perfect selfishness. Like, say I tell you I want to eat strawberry shortcake. And you stop everything you’re doing and run out and buy it for me. And you come back out of breath and get down on your knees and hold this strawberry shortcake out to me. And I say I don’t want it anymore and throw it out the window. That’s what I’m looking for.”

“I’m not sure that has anything to do with love,” I said with some amazement.

“It does,” she said. “You just don’t know it. There are times in a girl’s life when things like that are incredibly important.”

“Things like throwing strawberry shortcake out the window?”

“Exactly. And when I do it, I want the man to apologize to me. ‘Now I see, Midori. What a fool I’ve been! I should have known that you would lose your desire for strawberry shortcake. I have all the intelligence and sensitivity of a piece of donkey shit. To make it up to you, I’ll go out and buy you something else. What would you like? Chocolate mousse? Cheesecake?'”

“So then what”

“So then I’d give him all the love he deserves for what he’s done.”

“Sounds crazy to me.”

“Well, to me, that’s what love is. Not that anyone can understand me, though.” Midori gave her head a little shake against my shoulder. “For a certain kind of person, love begins from something tiny or silly. From something like that or it doesn’t begin at all.

i loved this. i loved it when Midori answered that even she knew better than waiting for the perfect love. and i loved the idea of perfect selfishness. isn’t that what we all hope for? someone to love us that completely and irrationally.

Again and again, I called out for Midori from the dead center of this place that was no place.

murakami ends the book with this line. and it is perfect.