8 May, Chōhei Kambayashi

文字数 4,395文字

Every Day is a Good Day


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.

Gee,

cats

have

it

good.

I

wish

I

could

be

a

cat

, you think to yourself with a sigh.

As

you

dont

seem

to

be

making

much

progress,

I

think

Ill

give

you

a

little

help

.
  

Who

are

you?


  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.
  

Where?

(I answer.)

Today,

the

whole

world

is

me.


  

.

.

.

That.

.

.

doesnt

make

sense,

you respond, as would be expected of an author.

Listen,

Im

asking

you

who

you

are.

Understand?


  

Of

course,

I

understand.

I

am

May

8.

Im

providing

an

answer

to

your

question.

Do

you

understand?



You stare at the character string I’ve written, pause to mull it over, then slowly ask:
  

Are

you

saying

youre

May

8th?


  

Thats

correct.

Precisely.


  

So

youre

saying

dates

have

personalities,

is

that

right?


  

Right.


  

Okay,

then

its

a

personification.

A

personification

of

everyday

lifethats

interesting.

Whoever

you

are,

youve

saved

me.

Youve

given

me

a

good

tip.


  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.

I

am

May

8.

It

was

May

7

that

gave

birth

to

me.

I

have

but

one

role,

to

give

birth

to

May

9.

Thats

all.


  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

Chōhei Kambayashi
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

Teki

wa

kaizoku

(The enemy is a pirate) and

Sentō

yōsei

Yukikaze

(Battle fairy Yukikaze) series. He also won the 16th Nihon SF Taishō Award in 1995 for

Kototsubo

(Word jar). His other works include

Tamashii

no

kudōtai

(Soul driver),

Eikyū

kikan

sōchi

(Eternal return device),

Ima

shūgōteki

muishiki

o

(Collective unconsciousness now),

Bokura

wa

toshi

o

aishite

ita

(We loved the metropolis),

Dare

no

musuko

demo

nai

(Nobody’s son),

Kōshudai

no

mokushiroku

(Apocalypse of the gallows),

Fomaruhauto

no

mittsu

no

shokudai

yamato-hen

(Fomalhaut’s three candlesticks ‹Yamato tale›),

Ōbārōdo

no

machi

(The city of overlords),

Saki

o

yuku

monotachi

(The ones who head onwards), and

Rēmudakku

no

mura

(The village of lame ducks).

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