10 May, Fumie Kondō

文字数 3,095文字

I met him in the station at night.
  He wore a big backpack; it looked obvious he was going on a trip. He was sitting on a bench in a station of the regular train line, stuffing a pastry into his mouth.
  All the people around were obviously looking at him suspiciously. There are fewer infected people all the time, but the declaration of emergency has not been lifted. No one is traveling.
  But the Shinkansen and the trains are still running. And some people will need to travel for unavoidable reasons, and not all hotels are completely shut down. If you want to take a trip, you can.
  He coughed. For a moment, tension ran through the crowd, and someone sitting on a bench nearby stood up. But it seemed to me like he had just choked on the pastry. I held out an unopened bottle of tea to him.
  “Have this.”
  “Thank you.”
  He took the bottle with tears in his eyes. My interest was aroused, so I asked.
  “Are you going somewhere far away?”
  A sleeper train would be leaving from the platform we were near. I wondered if he might be waiting to board it.
  I thought he’d respond warily, but instead he smiled.
  “I’m going somewhere without people. Or with as few people as possible.”
  Then he added, almost as an excuse, “Oh, I’m not infected. . . although that’s just a guess since I don’t have any symptoms.”
  The worrisome thing about this virus is that it can be carried by unsymptomatic people.
  “My mother’s old and suffers from respiratory problems. So I left home. I won’t go back until this is all over with. But on the other hand, I’m very aware that moving might bother people. That’s why I rented a house in an area far away with few people.”
  The sleeper train pulled into the station. He stood up and bowed to me.
  “Thanks for the tea.”
  “I wish you the best of luck.”
  The words came out of my mouth naturally. But it was true, and I didn’t just mean this guy; I meant everyone.
  The sleeper train he boarded started off, heading south.


Translated by Morgan Giles/Arranged by TranNet KK

Fumie Kondō
Born in Osaka, 1969. Graduated from Osaka University of Arts’ Literary Arts Department. Made her literary debut in 1993 with

Kogoeru

shima

(Freezing island) for which she won the 4th Ayukawa Tetsuya Award. Won the 10th Haruhiko Oyabu Award for

Sakurifaisu

(Sacrifice) in 2008. Her other works include

Watashi

no

inochi

wa

anata

no

inochi

yori

karui

(My life is lighter than your life),

Tokidoki

tabi

ni

deru

kafe

(The cafe that goes on a trip every now and then),

Sharurotto

no

yūutsu

(Melancholy of Charlotte),

Moppu

no

sei

wa

tabi

ni

deru

(The spirit of a mop goes on a journey),

Sutigumāta

(Stigmata),

Sūtsukēsu

no

hanbun

wa

(Half of the suitcase is),

Mikan

to

hiyodori

(Tangerine and bulbul),

Kabukiza

no

kaishinshi

(The mysterious gentleman of Kabuki-za), among others. Her newest work,

Yoru

no

mukō

no

sanagi-tachi

(The pupas beyond the night), will be published on June 11th.

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文字サイズ
  • 特大
背景色
  • 生成り
  • 水色
フォント
  • 明朝
  • ゴシック
組み方向
  • 横組み
  • 縦組み