A man may as well expect to grow stronger by always eating as wiser by always reading.

Jeremy Collier

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Ebook "A Wild Sheep Chase: A Novel"
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Tác giả: Haruki Murakami
Thể loại: Tiểu Thuyết
Biên tập: Truong Ngoc Tuan
Upload bìa: Minh Khoa
Language: English
Số chương: 44
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Cập nhật: 2017-04-13 11:16:02 +0700
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Chapter 6: The Further Adventures Of Unblocked Ears
he manifestation of her full splendor, though, I had yet to await. For the next two or three days, she exposed her ears only intermittently, then hid those marvels of creation behind her hair again and returned to ordinariness.
To her, it was as if she’d tried taking off her coat at the beginning of March. “I guess it’s still not time to show my ears,” she said. “I’m not entirely comfortable with them yet.”
“Really, I don’t mind,” I said. Even with her ears covered she wasn’t bad.
She’d show me her ears on occasion; mostly on sexual occasions. Sex with her with her ears exposed was an experience I’d never known. When it was raining, the smell of the rain came through crystal clear. When birds were singing, their song was a thing of sheer clarity. I’m at a loss for words, but that’s what it was like.
“You don’t show your ears when you sleep with other men?” I once asked her.
“Of course not,” she said. “They probably don’t even know I have ears.”
“What’s sex like for you without your ears showing?”
“A duty. Dry and tasteless, like chewing newsprint. But that’s okay. Nothing bad about fulfilling a duty, you know.”
“But with your ears out it’s a thousand times better, isn’t it?”
“Sure.”
“Then you ought to show them,” I said. “No need to go out of your way to put up with such dull times.”
Dead serious, she stared at me and said, “You don’t understand anything.”
For sure, there were a lot of things I didn’t understand at all.
For instance, the reason why she treated me special. I couldn’t for the life of me believe I might be any better or different in any way than anyone else.
But when I told her that, she only laughed.
“It’s really very simple,” she said. “You sought me out. That’s the biggest reason.”
“And supposing somebody else had sought you out?”
“At least for the present, it’s you who wants me. What’s more, you’re loads better than you think you are.”
“So why is it I get to thinking that way?” I puzzled.
“That’s because you’re only half-living,” she said briskly. “The other half is still untapped somewhere.”
“Hmm.”
“In that sense, you’re not unlike me. I’m sitting on my ears, and you’ve got only half of you that’s really living. Sure seems that way, doesn’t it?”
“Even if that were the case, my remaining half couldn’t possibly compare to your ears.”
“Maybe not,” she smiled. “You wouldn’t have any idea, would you?”
And with that smile in place, she lifted back her hair and unbuttoned her blouse.
That September afternoon toward summer’s end, I took the day off and was lying in bed with her, stroking her hair and thinking about the whale’s penis. The sea, a dark lead-gray. A brisk wind beating against the aquarium window. The lofty ceiling, the empty exhibition room. The penis severed forever from the whale, its meaning as a whale’s penis irretrievably lost.
Then I gave my wife’s slip one more spin-around in my thoughts. There was no real slip. Only, stuck in my head, a vague image of a slip draped over a kitchen chair. I couldn’t remember what it had meant to me. Had somebody else been living my life all this time?
“Tell me, you don’t wear slips, do you?” I asked my girlfriend.
She lifted her head from my shoulder and stared at me blankly.
“I don’t have any.”
“Umm,” I said.
“But if you think you’d have a better time if I did …”
“No, it’s not that,” I quickly interjected. “That wasn’t why I was asking.”
“No, really, there’s no need to be shy. I’m quite used to that kind of stuff from work. I wouldn’t be the least bit embarrassed.”
“I’m not asking for anything,” I said. “Honestly, all I need is you and your ears, nothing more.”
She gave a pouting shake of her head and pressed her forehead against my shoulder. Not fifteen seconds later, she looked up again.
“Listen, an important phone call is going to come through in ten minutes.”
“A phone call?” I glanced over at the bedside telephone.
“That’s right, the phone’s going to ring.”
“You can tell?”
“I can tell.”
She had herself a cigarette, head resting on my chest. A moment later, her ash fell beside my navel and she pursed her lips to blow it off. I felt her ear between my fingers. It was a wonderful sensation. My head was empty with shapeless images drifting and diffusing.
“Something about sheep,” she said. “Lots of sheep and one sheep in particular.”
“Sheep?”
“Uh-huh,” she said, handing her half-smoked cigarette to me. I took one drag, then crushed it out in an ashtray. “And that’ll be the beginning of a wild adventure.”
Shortly thereafter, the telephone rang. I shot her a look, but she had dozed off on my chest. I let the phone ring four times before picking up the receiver.
It was my partner. “Could you come here right away?” he said. There was an edge to his voice. “I have a terribly urgent matter to discuss with you.”
“Just how urgent is it?”
“Come in and you’ll find out,” said he.
“Heaven knows it’s got to be about sheep,” I said, letting go a trial balloon. It was something I shouldn’t have said. The receiver grew cold as ice.
“How did you know?” my partner asked.
The wild sheep chase had begun.
A Wild Sheep Chase: A Novel A Wild Sheep Chase: A Novel - Haruki Murakami A Wild Sheep Chase: A Novel