Today I Woke Up in a Murakami Novel

Haruki Murakami is known for many things, but I think what sticks out most about his work is how carefully he constructs a reality outside of what we come to expect as “normal” in the lives of his characters. In his book The Wind Up Bird Chronicles this holds true, as well as in his short story Yesterday (which can be found on The New Yorker’s website). Now, when something goes odd in my life. I feel like I might be one of his characters in an upcoming novel.

Today, for instance, I woke up to the sound of an accordion being played, loudly, someplace outside. The unskilled squeezing of air through the instrument peaked my curiosity, so I pulled myself out of bed and took a quick look outside of my window.

There was no accordion player to be found, despite the volume of the playing placing it in close proximity to my open window, but there were some dogs running loose. Four, to be exact. To be even more exact four Siberian huskies with perfect coats and fluffy gray tails curling behind them as they ran, leashless and personless, down the street outside of my window.

Now, I have witnessed wild dogs running around my street before, but usually these were abandoned chihuahuas. Siberian huskies were well outside the norm of wild pets I expected to see trot by my window this morning.

Things were out of balanced in my world. Now I just needed a few weird food experiences and my adventure into a Murakami novel would be complete.

Oh, wait, that totally did happen.

I need caffeine fixes during school, so I ran to my local Starbucks to grab a drink. While waiting in line, I was privy to overhearing other people’s orders. Other people are weird. The man two spots ahead of me in line ordered a tall iced hot chocolate with extra whipped cream. And then I ordered a trenta orange refresher with a black tea base and no orange slices. I realized that my drink, too, was odd.

It’s no spaghetti for breakfast or potato salad sandwiches, but it was odd enough to add more strangeness, overall, to my day.

Seriously, is this a thing and no one told me about it? I just think this would be so weird.

Now I’m just wondering what will come next. Am I out of alignment with reality? Is some spiritual world in need of my healing powers? Is someone odd going to effect my life in a profound way for just a moment in time, only to vanish yet always remain in my memory?

The day’s not over yet, and only time can really tell me what Murakami has in store for me. Hopefully this isn’t a situation like Stranger Than Fiction where the main character dies at the end. Who knows, maybe I’m just a strange woman bothering the protagonist in his main quest. It could be that I’m destined to pull someone out of a well in the next few days.

Speaking of which, does anyone know where I can find a well?

Amanda Riggle
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Amanda Riggle

Managing Editor at The Poetics Project
Amanda is the Managing Editor at The Poetics Project and of The Socialist, the national magazine of The Socialist Party USA, as well as the Lead Editor of Pomona Valley Review's upcoming 11th issue. She graduated with a BA in English Education and a minor in Political Science. She is currently enrolled in an English MA program with an emphasis in Literature. During her free time, Amanda enjoys writing poetry, reading, traveling, crocheting, watching entire seasons of campy shows on Netflix, and, of course, writing blogs.

You can follow Amanda on Twitter @ThePandaBard, on Pinterest @ThePandaBard, or on Medium @ThePandaBard. You can also find her research on Academia.Edu at Cpp.Academia.Edu/MandaRiggle.

Amanda Riggle
Rarely use

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