I was an extra in that passage with Betty (Akiko) and the guy with the sheepish grin. I was eating a hot dog in Doutor in Yotsuya JR station near where I was working. I had a sweet gig teaching English to salarymen. My boyfriend was a civil servant, something to do with tin cans and jazz-whispering. So we’ve basically already met, I mean in your book.
In this other book of yours I was a snake-dog in an old man’s pocket. I don’t know how you knew where to find me to put me in that pocket but since it was before the Internet I am a little surprised you managed to find my shocked expression and quivering eyelids.
I took a panoramic picture of some giant crows and antenna and rooftops outside my balcony on my last day in Tokyo. A couple of years later I tried to paint a picture of this one specific crow. She was the one who’d been spotted arranging stones on the train tracks, on a whim, just to see what would happen. She told me all about it out on the balcony. She made it onto the nightly news. I remember jumping up and down, I kept shouting, I know that crow, I know that crow.
Hey, I’m really into vinyl, just like you, Haruki. Do you want to come over to my small apartment and spin a few discs? Shit, I can’t keep up. I’m glad this is New York City otherwise someone might call the cops and get me into some trouble, haha. I guess this looks a little strange. Everything I know about Beethoven I started to learn from you. Hey, wait, please, I’d sure like to pick your brain about your favorite recordings of Eureka, hey, that’s okay, yes, I am busy too. It’s hard to run away and talk at the same time.
Valerie Fox’s most recent book is Insomniatic [poems] (PS Books). Other books include The Glass Book (Texture Press) and The Rorschach Factory (Straw Gate Books). She’s recently published stories or poems in Across the Margin, Philadelphia Stories, andCleaver.
–Art by Piotr Kaczmarek