Monday, 21 November 2016

While the Dog Rests.

I’ve started reading Kobo Abe’s novel The Woman in the Dunes as recommended by the Special Personage.

I’ve come to the point where our less than intrepid hero is trapped without means of escape in a crumbling wooden house situated at the bottom of a giant pit in the sand dunes, and the sands are ever-shifting. He isn’t happy and realises that he’s been placed in this position of peril by the local villagers, although he is currently ignorant of their motive.

His one consolation – if such it be – is that the young woman who owns the house, and for whom he has already felt the stirrings of libidinous interest, shares his situation. More than that even, she is currently kneeling stark naked in a position of apparent supplication close by, presumably because she has been complicit in arranging the poor man’s incarceration while he slept. But there’s a problem: like everything else in the near vicinity, she is covered in sand.

He muses that he likes looking at her because the curious patina thus engendered reminds him of a statue, but he doesn’t fancy touching her because… she’s covered in sand. This is clearly a sensibility to which the Japanese are accustomed, but which is only vaguely comprehensible to my western mindset by virtue of my fascination with the surreal. In a truly real world, I would be inclined to either secure an implement with which to scrape off the sand, or mutter indignantly: ‘Madam, do have the decency to cover yourself.’

It’s a very strange story so far, but who am I to talk?

*  *  *

The black dog has been keeping faithful station close to my heel for some days now, but he’s currently taking a well earned snooze. That’s why I’m writing this post.

*  *  *

And I confess to missing somebody, however hard I try not to, who is out there beyond my reach or knowledge in the darkness of a dripping and depressing night. Today has been unusually wet and windy, just the sort of day to stay indoors and address the issues, the anxieties and the difficult decisions. Phone calls have been made, letters written, and options pondered to varying levels of satisfaction or otherwise. The black dog, bless him, loves this sort of weather. It makes him feel empowered.

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