８ Ｍａｙ， Ｃｈōｈｅｉ Ｋａｍｂａｙａｓｈｉ
Well, then, it’s the eighth of May. Because you’re an author, you’re thinking about your deadline as you go about writing again. You’re muddling your way, trying to come up with an idea for a short piece that will cheer everyone up as you rack your brain over the next installment for an ongoing series. It’s then that an email comes in from your editor saying your manuscript is due around the 12th. What the heck are you supposed to do when you haven’t even started writing anything? Rather than tearing your hair out, you hold your cat tight, the one that’s been sitting on your lap.
cat, you think to yourself with a sigh.
You ask me who I am on seeing what I’ve written on your PC screen, tossing the fidgeting cat out of your arms without realizing it.
sense,”you respond, as would be expected of an author.
You stare at the character string I’ve written, pause to mull it over, then slowly ask:
An idea comes to mind and you immediately start writing.
“Once upon a time, there was a calendar whose numbers were on bad terms with one another and lined up every which way they wanted. ‹January 1› said it was the mightiest of them all, ‹December 24›, or Christmas Eve, stressed that it was the merriest day of the year, while all the other days, too, argued that they were the best as they each gave their own reasons. Stumped by this, the person-person decided to ask his cat to help him get the days on his calendar to line up in an orderly fashion. . . .”
His cat? Why a cat? You cock your head and wonder as you write. Then you tell yourself, oh, well, why not? Whatever the case may be, you think to yourself that you’ve gotten started and will somehow manage. Yes, because I helped you.
You continue to write, feeling gratitude for ‹today›. I’m happy that you understand. May your days be filled with happiness.
Translated by Eriko Sugita/Arranged by TranNet KK
Born in Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture, in 1953. Made his literary debut in 1979 with “Kitsune to odore” (Dance with a fox). He has won many Seiun Awards for works including those from the
kaizoku(The enemy is a pirate) and
Yukikaze(Battle fairy Yukikaze) series. He also won the 16th Nihon SF Taishō Award in 1995 for
Kototsubo(Word jar). His other works include
sōchi(Eternal return device),
o(Collective unconsciousness now),
ita(We loved the metropolis),
mokushiroku(Apocalypse of the gallows),
‹yamato-hen›(Fomalhaut’s three candlesticks ‹Yamato tale›),
machi(The city of overlords),
monotachi(The ones who head onwards), and
mura(The village of lame ducks).