18 June, Yumehito Inoue

文字数 3,349文字

I’m Melding!

Sixty-eight days. Yes, today is Day 68.
  The day I was fired from my


job of four and a half years was April 11. Counting from the next day, that leaves 19 days in April. The month of May has 31 days, and today is June 18, so 19 + 31 + 18 = 68 days. At least, I’ve still got the brains to do the math.
  That day, Matsuura had told me not to come to work anymore. When I offered, I’ll work for half my salary. How about you let me stay on? the old guy answered, Try to understand, and had looked down with a grimace. The envelope that he handed me as he said, This is the best I can do, had a 5,000-yen bill in it.
  After I bought instant cup noodles and got home, I locked the door behind me. That was the last time I was out. I haven’t left the apartment since. The key is still sitting on top of the shoe cabinet. Today is Day 68.
  I practically lived on my bed. From atop the mattress, I leaned against the wall and channel surfed with the remote. I zapped through the channels for hours and hours. I got out of bed when I had to go use the toilet but came right back as soon as I finished my business.
  It was on the third day that I couldn’t climb out of bed. I couldn’t lift my hips. I figured that I’d just gotten stiff or something. I soon realized that wasn’t the case.
  I couldn’t move my legs an inch. When I looked down, they were buried in the futon blanket. Not stuck in the blanket, but more like they’d been absorbed into the blanket from the calves down. It wasn’t just the legs. I felt around to find my butt swallowed up by the edge of the bed and blanket, and the area around my shoulder blades sunk into the wall.
  Well, this is a problem, I thought, yet strangely, I wasn’t at all panicked about it. Though I haven’t been able to get up to eat anything, I don’t ever get hungry. It seems the nourishment I need is being sent through the bed and wall. Likewise, any bodily discharge is taken in through the walls and floor. Like a plant, I thought amusedly. I’ve turned into a plant creature.
  Another ten days passed, and I began sensing the others’ voices. It seems the apartment is an amalgam of myself and a lot of other people. Although we can’t talk to each other, we are able to share our feelings.
  Today is Day 68. Most of my body is now fused with the apartment. My right hand, still holding the remote, is melded to the bed.
  Outside my apartment, I heard the landlord’s voice. Hear that? The television is on. I believe he’s home.
  I hear the key turning in the lock.

Translated by Takami Nieda/Arranged by TranNet KK

Yumehito Inoue
Born in 1950. Won the 28th Edogawa Rampo Prize in 1982 for




(Dark brown pastel), which was written together with Jun’ichi Tokuyama under the joint pen-name Futari Okajima. After winning the Mystery Writers of Japan Award in 1986 and the Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for New Writers in 1989, the duo was dissolved upon the publication of




(Klein bottle). Made his solo literary debut in 1992 with






(Someone is inside). His works include





(Take a look at the mirror Medusa),





(Rubber soul), among others. His most recent work is







  • 特大
  • 生成り
  • 水色
  • 明朝
  • ゴシック
  • 横組み
  • 縦組み