Monday, June 26, 2006

Murakami's Sofa

Wherein I borrow Bill's format and play with my new toy

We just got a new (second hand; thanks, Dad!) scanner so that both of us have them. Now I don't have to interrupt my spouse or go across the house, etc., to scan pictures or text. I'm going to be doing more of that, now!

My first entry is from Murakami Haruki's Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (pp. 44-45). It's good, but a bit .... overly neat, too structured. It's well-done but doesn't have the energy or surprise I expect from his surrealism. Wind-up Bird Chronicle, the last one of his I read, was much better on both scores. Still, it's been good reading. This quotation gives away nothing, but it does help to explain why we still have the same couch we got second-hand seven years ago (thanks, Bro!), and why my parents still have the couch set they bought thirty years ago....
I must have rested two or three times during the old man's absence. During these breaks, I went to the toilet, crossed my arms and put my face down on the desk, and stretched out on the sofa. The sofa was perfect for sleeping. Not too soft, not too hard; even the cushions pillowed my head just right. Doing different tabulation jobs, I've slept on a lot of sofas, and let me tell you, the comfortable ones are few and far between. Typically, they're cheap deadweight. Even the most luxurious-looking sofas are a disappointment when you actually try to sleep on them. I never understand how people can be lax about choosing sofas.

I always say—a prejudice on my part, I'm sure—you can tell a lot about a person's character from his choice of sofa. Sofas constitute a realm inviolate unto themselves. This, however, is something that only those who have grown up sitting on good sofas will appreciate. It's like growing up reading good books or listening to good music. One good sofa breeds another good sofa; one bad sofa breeds another bad sofa. That's how it goes.

There are people who drive luxury cars, but have only second- or third-rate sofas in their homes. I put little trust in such people. An expensive automobile may well be worth its price, but it's only an expensive automobile. If you have the money, you can buy it, anyone can buy it. Procuring a good sofa, on the other hand, requires style and experience and philosophy. It takes money, yes, but you also need a vision of the superior sofa. That sofa among sofas.
Sure, it's a variation on an old theme -- "You can judge a person's character by their...." -- but oh, so true.

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