Comedic Mechanism: Parade of the Jane Does (124/291)

I reserve the right to remove this translation without warning.

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This an experiment.

I have nothing to say this time other than: Chapter 2 is my favorite.

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Translation Notes:

Comedic Mechanism: Parade of the Jane Does

[5]

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: A Night of Unpleasant Rain – 7
Chapter 2: March of the Saints – 95
Chapter 3: An Unbearable Existence in Suffering – 191
Chapter 4: An Emptiness Devoid of Color Contrast – 257

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[95]

Chapter 2: March of the Saints

[97]

ーBeast! Do you not realize I am in love!?

Usami Renko only realized her image was being projected on the display in front of the train station a few minutes prior, feeling a breeze indicative of the end of spring travel down her neck.

It was a ten minute trip from West Kyoto University to the train station nearest to where she taught as a part-time private tutor, a trip that consisted of riding local trains that swayed back and forth as they turned.

Despite being the nation’s capital, West Kyoto’s development reached only a little over ten kilometers from its downtown area. At this simple station, there was one exit gate and only three short buildings waited outside. The bridge that led to the station gates only had a few scattered people crossing in either direction.

Renko was walking alone across the bridge and had noticed just as she was adjusting the strap of her bag on her shoulder.

The LCD display hung from one of the buildings that faced the station. It normally ran promotional videos, but this time, Renko saw herself in the display. Where was the camera? Given the angle of the shot, which included others walking across the bridge, Renko thought there might be a camera attached to one of the street lamps, but she couldn’t see anything when she looked.

Renko leaned against the rails bridge and looked up at the display again. There she saw herself looking off in no particular direction, her stupid looking profile there for all the crowd to see. She stared.

[98]

“Now that I have the opportunity to look at myself like this…” Renko muttered under her breath, “…have I lost weight? It isn’t as if anything’s happened… Well actually, I’m not sure I can really say that.”

“It’s no big deal, nothing to lose weight over anyway,” she told herself. Why did she feel she had to say that? She didn’t quite know herself.

Renko took her tumbler out of her bag. It was empty — she had already finished it. All that was left was the container. As she fiddled with it, Renko continued to stare at herself in the screen. The green container with its pattern of small flowers danced on the screen in low resolution.

What is here and what is there… even though they should be the same thing, by taking one through the eyes of a lens and passing it through to a pixelated screen, the result is something entirely different. If you think about it, it only makes sense, but perhaps because the sky is so dark and my image on the screen is flat and to some degree unsaturated… it looks more like a painting that someone drew. While it is me… it’s not. It’s something else.

Renko lifted her left wrist to look at her watch. It was just under five minutes until they were supposed to meet up.

“I really should have filled this thing back up,” she said, looking at her tumbler again.

[99]

About twenty years ago, it an effort to reduce the impact on the environment, it became common practice not to use disposable paper cups for beverages, but for people to carry around their own containers. That way one could bring their container to an automated coffee stand, have their beverage dispensed, and take it with them to go.

But there was nothing in Renko’s tumbler at the moment. She had finished drinking its contents before she left the university.

“There’s no point carrying this around is there, if I don’t keep it filled…” Renko laughed at herself listlessly.

Renko went back to doing nothing, just leaning against the rails of the bridge and staring up at the sky.

“Hi Renko.”

As Renko was tuning out her surroundings, a familiar voice caught her attention. Putting her tumbler back into her bag she turned to face the owner of the voice, who was wearing a school uniform with a dark blue blazer.

“Welcome back.”

“It’s not like this is my home or anything,” the girl laughed with a soft tone to her voice.

Her lightly colored hair, which normally had a bit of a wave to it, was a little disheveled. She must have run at least part of the way, and seemed out of breath. Renko didn’t really care much about this, but even so, she raised her hand and played with the girl’s hair between her fingers. It felt a little damp.

[100]

“Did you run all the way here?”

“I couldn’t help myself once I saw you,” the girl laughed, blushing.

“That so,” said Renko, making a face as if she were happy to hear such a thing, before petting the girl’s hair and straightening out her hair.

The girl fidgeted as if she was ticklish, and Renko thought as her mind wandered that this girl was just like a puppy. That’s right, a puppy. This wasn’t in a positive or affectionate sort of way, just an observation. The girl moved closer to Renko’s side, opposite of her bag, pressed against her and linked their arms together. She moved slowly, without a word, but just smiled.

As they started walking to the bus stop, Renko looked back up at the screen, as almost an afterthought. She wondered how she looked now, but could only see the back of her head and the profile of the girl beside her. The image was pixelated, as before. The smile the girl had plastered on her face too looked like a painting.

“You were early today,” Renko said.

“Are you sure? I’m pretty sure I always come at the same time.”

“I didn’t wait as long.”

“Doesn’t that just mean you came later than usual?”

Renko looked over and saw the girl’s face staring at her. Blue eyes mixed with a little brown. Looking straight into those eyes Renko answered.

“Who knows?” she said with a chuckle.

[101]

“Did something happen?”

“What makes you say that?”

“That face you’re making. That’s the face you make when something’s happened.”

“Nothing happened.”

“Liar. You only make this face when something that matters has happened.”

Renko felt the girl pull on their interlocked arms, and they stopped. She kept staring. Renko knew she should say something. She knew, but that didn’t mean that she actually had to say anything. But no, that’s not it, she thought, feeling as if barbed worms were squirming around inside her brain.

Renko reached inside her skirt pocket and took out a vaporizer, and put the mouthpiece in her mouth. (Such a device is for smoking, rather than medical use. By this time, the sale of cigarettes had ended due to a broad interpretation of the Law for the Promotion of General Health.) Sensors on the mouthpiece measured the temperature of her lips and automatically delivered a puff of vaporized nicotine. Renko inhaled and slowly let out a stream of vapor.

“That’s bad for you, you know?”

“I know,” Renko said with a slight smile.

[102]

Renko felt the effect of the nicotine sink into her brain. There was a slight feeling of intoxication. Her sense of distance weakened. After taking three puffs on her vaporizer, she put it back in her skirt pocket.

“It’s not cheap either.”

“Well I’m making enough money to pay for it.”

“That’s not what I mean.”

“That’s not what I mean,” she whispered again again softly and started walking again. Pulled along, Renko followed. They were no longer up on that display.

That’s the way it should be, Renko thought. I don’t want to see myself laid out for everyone else to see, at least not for long. Especially — especially not when I’m alone.

Alone. Usami Renko at that very moment did indeed have someone she was walking with. However, to her, she still felt as if she was alone. The distance between them was vast. They were not distant in any real quantitative way, yet they were and continued to be — distant.

This girl — the one who had latched herself to Renko as they walked — she was Usami Renko’s pupil, the one she tutored. More importantly, however, she was Renko’s girlfriend. But the truth was, Renko didn’t really love her anymore.

[103]

Since when? Probably since the very beginning. Did the girl know? Did she not? Renko couldn’t bring herself to ask, or to even think about it much. The girl was no different from Renko’s vaping habit. She and it filled a void.

The girl’s house was about ten minutes by bus from the train station. However, the bus followed a loop, so it was a shorter distance to walk. So Renko and her girlfriend would never wait for the bus if it wasn’t at the stop. The streets they walked were arranged geometrically, like a go board, and were paved with white tiles. Other than the two, there was no one else to be seen, despite the fact that this was a time when you would expect everyone to be heading home. It wasn’t as if the area was in the middle of nowhere, and Renko thought it was probably some sort of coincidence.

“Hey, Renko? You know, there’s this thing that’s really popular at school right now.”

“Yeah?”

“Stories that are really really scary, depending on who you are.”

“Huh? What do you mean?”

“I mean exactly what I said, stories that to some people might not be scary at all, but to other people are really scary. It depends on the person. Those kind of stories are really popular right now.”

[104]

“Are there really that many of them?”

“Everyone’s busy collecting them, and everyone shares one during our lunch break.”

Renko’s girlfriend narrowed her eyes and looked up at Renko.

“If everyone feels the same way about the story, then that’s a win.”

“There are winners and losers?”

“Yeah, I mean after all, it’s a ‘cult’.”

“Again?”

“It’s what’s popular right now.”

Cult.

Apparently they’re using the original meaning of the word, “to worship”.

Renko had heard from her girlfriend that this “cult” activity was especially popular among high school students. Basically it consisted of games that groups of friends would play in order to reaffirm how close-knit they were. Renko hadn’t asked about what happened if the game really didn’t affirm that the group was close-knit, but she had an idea of what would happen.

In any isolated community, any factor that becomes a threat to the community’s continued existence is always removed. A group of close-knit friends must always consist only of those who are close-knit friends. That’s all there is to it.

[105]

“Once upon a time there was a man — a man who said, ‘I am afraid of my own wife.'”

That was how Renko’s girlfriend began her tale.


This man, long ago, was married. When he went out with his wife she always supported him. She never cheated on him, and she truly did devote herself to him. Yet despite this, this man was afraid of his wife.

“When that man first met his wife — it was about ten years ago — well it was love at first sight, you see, and he proposed to her on the spot. But you see, this is what the wife said to him, ‘I don’t love you one bit. In fact, I hate you. But still, for you I will be an ideal wife.’ Together at home, they hardly speak, and it seems that she’s happier when her husband is away and she is out of the house. But she never cheats, and always does the housework properly. If you look at others who married in love, she is clearly far better a wife. She always has been. They had children, and according to that man, even though it’s clear they are his children, it doesn’t look like his wife really loves them. But she doesn’t act mean to them. She’s even saving up money for their future. One day, he asked her, ‘Was what you said to me when I proposed to you really true?’ And you know what she said, with a smile on her face? ‘Yes. I don’t love you or our children one bit.'”

The end.

[106]

“So Renko. Was that story scary to you?”

“Well, I guess it was, a little bit.”

That was a lie. To Renko, this story sounded too normal to be even called a story. Humans are capable of having sex if just a couple of their wants or needs line up. The same thing for housework, or for having children. They can even pretend to love, if that’s part of the rules.

“I’m so happy to hear that. You see, it was really scary for me.”

“You mean the wife was scary?”

“Well yes, but what was… Nevermind, I guess she was, wasn’t she?”

At first Renko tried to catch what she meant but did not say, but in the end she felt that it didn’t really matter, and muttered a neutral answer.

[107]

“Everyone said it was scary.”

“Well yeah, that kind of person is scary.”

“You’re right… yeah… She is scary isn’t she…”

The girl stopped, and so Renko stopped along with her.

“Renko, don’t you have one?”

“One of what?”

“A scary story.”

“I don’t know if I can think of one on the spot… But, hmm… Maybe that story of the performer will do.”

Long ago, there was a really popular act at the circus, where a performer would starve themselves. All it was, was that someone would sit and not eat for days. This man would sit in a cage, eating nothing, just sitting in that cage, eating nothing for days and days. On the man’s cage would be a plaque, which said: “This man has not eaten for X anumber of days.”

People would come in crowds and crowds to see the man reduced to skin and bones.

Was he really not eating? Wasn’t he sneaking in some sort of food? Those kind of curious stares would surround him.

[108]

The man really wasn’t eating. Nothing, for days and days.

Even so, people eventually grew tired of seeing the man.

In the beginning, the cage was set in the middle of the circus, but before long it was relegated to a corner. The people who came, they wanted to see elephants and lions. No one wanted to see the starving man anymore. But he didn’t stop. He continued to not eat. Even as he dried out, even as he became indistinguishable from a clump of hay, he would not stop.

One day, the owner of the circus came to the cage and asked, “How many days has it been since you have eaten?”

With a voice that could hardly be heard, he answered, “I do not know.”

People had stopped keeping track of the days, and the plaque had fallen, a mess, in a corner of the cage.

“Why don’t you stop?” The owner asked. “No one is looking at you anymore.”

But the man shook his head.

“There is nothing I can eat. What everyone eats, so happily, all of it is disgusting to me. I cannot stand it. I cannot eat anything. That is why I am here. If I could eat, the same way that you all can, if I could eat the same things you do so happily, I would not be here.”

“And that was the last thing the man said, before he died,” Renko said.

[109]

“What happened next?” Renko’s girlfriend asked, listening intently.

“After the man died, they put a large and lively, pitch black panther in his cage. A large black panther, that everyone cheered to see.”

She was waiting, she was waiting for Renko to continue.

“That’s the end.”

“The end?”

“Yeah, that’s it.”

“That’s… scary?”

“It’s you who said, ‘depending on the person.'”

Renko reached out and stroked her girlfriend’s cheek. It felt as if she was rubbing the skin of a peach.

“Well I did, but why is that story scary?”

“Who knows? There was someone once who said it was scary.”

“What part?”

“The very end, when they put the panther in the cage, and everyone cheers… I think.”

[110]

“Why?”

“I really don’t know. Wonder why.”

That was another lie.

“At this rate, we won’t make it in time. Can we walk a bit faster?”

“Okay,” Renko answered softly.

When Renko looked up, the sun had started to fall under the horizon, with the sky scarlet and the shadows growing longer. The clouds had darkened to black and it all looked, in a way, like a Rorschach test.

Renko pointed.

“What is it?”

“That cloud…”

“Cloud?”

“It looks like it might show up on one of those psychological tests.”

“Huh?”

“There’s this sort of test where you’re asked what things like that look like.”

“There’s really a test like that?”

[111]

“Yeah. It’s more of an occult sort of thing though.”

“Interesting. So what does that cloud look like to you, Renko?”

“Well, it looks like…”

Renko watched as the wind slowly to tore the cloud apart.

“…a child.”

“A… child?”

“I thought it looked kind of like a child’s finger.”

“Huh,” the girl muttered in response, and that was the end of their conversation.

***

I am not sure how long ago it was that I first met her. I think it was on a day my girlfriend suddenly cancelled our weekend date because apparently something came up she could not miss. So I went by shopping by myself to the same clothing store and boutique we had originally planned on going to, but I couldn’t bring myself to buy anything, and after a bit of wandering around I found myself walking in a nearby park.

[112]

There was a large pond in the middle of the park, with a lot of cherry trees planted around it and a trail that wound between them. It happened when I was walking along that trail. Often there would be some sort of theater group performing a show, and you would see couples on dates walking together. It was that sort of place. It wasn’t as if it was ever crowded, but it was always lively. Whenever I was in a place like that alone… I couldn’t help but feel miserable.

As I walked around the circular trail around the pond, I looked up at the cherry trees. They had already turned green, already lost half of their spring blossoms. It was a dirt trail, so even after walking for so long, my feed did not hurt. I did not like to walk on paved roads. If I was walking for more than a short while, my ankles and the soles of my feet would always begin to hurt. For that reason, I really did not like walking around town. I don’t think humans were really made to walk on pavement. If I’m together with someone else, I don’t notice as much, but if I am alone, I can’t keep it off my mind. I asked my girlfriend once, “Why do towns and cities always want to pave everything over?” Her response was that cities want everything to be in order. “If a city loses its order, it won’t be a city anymore.” It was a little over my head, and I struggled to understand. When she saw my puzzled face, she looked a little disappointed and did her best to explain. But the more she explained things to me, the more I wanted to just end it all with a kiss. “Don’t grow tired of me,” I thought. I couldn’t help but think it.

[113]

Again and again, I would kiss her, just to change the subject.

I think that my kisses are expendable items. It feels that every time I kiss her, the me inside this girl I love is scraped away, little by little. The pieces would fall off like sand and I would be less. I would be taken apart until there was nothing left of myself within her. It made me sad to think that way, but if I felt that one day I would be gone.

Everyone else, the friends I’ve bonded with by cult, they say that’s strange. Why would someone you’re in love with ever hate you? They ask. Love is eternal, they say. Sure, no one lasts forever. A person can slowly come apart and eventually be no more. But even so, love — love will last forever. That is what they say. That is what all the songs say.

After all, there are no longer any sad songs.

No longer.

Long ago, it seems sad songs existed. But they didn’t sell well, so everyone stopped singing them.

[114]

Someone once said, “Sad songs make us feel depressed, so we shouldn’t sing them.” That’s why we don’t know any sad songs. But I think that’s a wonderful thing. If we only have songs about things that are fun, things that make us happy, things that are beautiful… If we only sing songs like that, surely we’ll be happy. After all, someone else’s happiness can become your own.

But still, every now and then, I feel pain — pain when I see someone else’s smile, someone else’s happiness.

As I was thinking about all of this, walking around the pond, something touched my cheek. When I reached up and touched my cheek, it felt damp. I looked up at the sky and it was covered in gray clouds, and white particles were falling. I first thought it was rain, but the speed that it was falling was too slow for it to be rain.

I stopped and held out my hand. It was a single cherry blossom petal. At first I thought rain had caused some of the remaining petals to fall, but I could not feel any rain fall on my face. Around the petals water droplets were blossoming.

It really did take me longer than it should have to realize it was snow. A strong wind blew and a flurry of flower petals and little snowflakes flew before my eyes.

[115]

One. Two. Three. I quickly lost count.

Soon powder snow had filled half of this spring sky. The weather report hadn’t said anything like this would happen. (In this current age of science, the weather was carefully controlled, and the weather report was nothing more than a release of the latest weather schedule.) It felt as if a hedgehog with soft spines had curled up deep inside my chest. Half of the other people in the park looked surprised, with the other half a mix of other emotions, and you could hear people talking about it amongst themselves.

I stared at the sky, at the snow swirling about in a spiral.

One of those small pieces found its way into my eye.

I felt a stinging, numbing pain. It should have been cold, but it was different from what I thought. Rather than cold, it felt hot. I covered my eyes and looked down as the throbbing pain seeped deeper into my head. Wasn’t it snow? What I had in my hand before was definitely…

Tears began to flow, and I rubbed furiously at my face with my sleeve.

[116]

People only cry when something they don’t need enters them. For instance, when dust or sand enters their eyes, or sadness enters their hearts.

I remember long ago, my girlfriend told that to me as she comforted me. What happened, I wonder. I felt really sad, and a pain in my chest, and she told me that it was okay to cry. She told me to let it all out, everything inside my heart I did not need. That everyone in life has only a limited amount they cry, and it is best to cry while you are still able.

“Umbrella,” I muttered, as the tears started to subside.

I did not have an umbrella. Realizing that if I stayed out in the snow it would only be a matter of time before I was drenched I looked around and saw a small hut by the pond, so I ran to it.

The hut was mostly empty, except for a grimy and blackened wooden table and bench. There was already another person there, a woman. She was not sitting on the bench, but standing, and in front of her was another small hut, and inside that, two dolls were standing. It was a stage for puppet theater. There were portable weren’t there? I thought. I had seen some before when I was little. I wondered if she was practicing a performance like the other theater groups who come to the park.

[117]

But why would she do it here? I thought. The building was run down, more of a shack than a hut. Maybe she didn’t want others to see her practicing? She probably could have practiced outside, behind the hut and closer to the lake and no one would have paid her any mind.

I sat down on the bench beside her. In the woman’s hands were wooden crosses with wires she used to move the puppets. As the wind blew again, I glanced up at her short golden hair, cut above the shoulders. Her face from where I sat looked just like a doll’s. Her blue eyes looked as if they were made of glass.

“At the Snow Queen’s castle, the thick snow itself became the castle walls, and the windows and doors were made of a biting wind,” rang a clear voice. The woman puppeteer had begun to speak.

As I looked at her from the corner of my eye, her lips were not moving at all. She must have been using some sort of ventriloquism. It felt as the story had come unto itself naturally rather than from the woman. The way she moved nothing but the tips of her fingers, I could not help but feel that way.

“Due to the cold Kai had become blue, and then black. Even still, Kai could not feel the cold, for the Snow Queen had kissed him and sucked the feeling of cold out of him. And so, Kai’s heard became like ice.”

[118]

I glanced at the puppet stage. It was all blue, and had no other color. Of the two puppets, one was a girl who was standing aloof, and the other was sitting gathering something. Well, it wasn’t actually gathering anything, but it was moving in such a way that made it seem like it was.

“Kai took several pieces of thin ice he found here and there and pieced them together into different shapes, trying to make something. They were magnificent clumps of ice, puzzles of ice pieces, and in Kai’s eyes these things were beautiful and precious above all else. This was because of the piece of the mirror stuck in Kai’s eye. Kai tried to express a single word with these shapes.”

The puppet still kept collecting things. It moved very smoothly, too smoothly to be real.

“‘I tried to use all of the ice pieces I found to make one word, the word ‘eternity’. But I was unable to, no matter how hard I tried.'”

When I heard those words I felt as if something was caught in my throat. I tried to get rid of it and coughed, again and again, and by the fifth time, I was sobbing. I collapsed upon myself and cried and cried. What was I sad about? What was it inside me that I did not need? I did not know. As I kept crying, and the sobs flowed out from my throat it was otherwise shut, blocked up. Tears from my eyes flowed out, with drops larger than the snowflakes outside. I hugged my body to myself and balled up on the bench.

[119]

By the time my tears had led up, the woman had finished her performance and was staring at me. She wasn’t smiling and she didn’t look as if she were trying to make me feel better. She just stared at me, just like a doll.

“What…” I said, rubbing my eyes with my sleeve. “What story was that from?”

“It’s a story called ‘The Snow Queen’,” she answered quietly.

For some reason, that made me feel happy for some reason.

The snow was starting to fall harder outside. I looked through my tears at the surface of the pond outside. With the white falling over the red of the already fallen cherry blossoms, the combination looked pink, like flamingo feathers. Between the feathers of various shades the surface of the pond reflected the sky. Perhaps because of the dark clouds, the surface looked like a mirror, with several ripples running across it. In one of the many rippling rings I saw myself and the woman in the hut. Because of the ripples running over it, my face was mess.

[120]

“I look terrible,” I whispered.

“You do,” the woman answered.

In the mirror, everything was twisted. Even the cherry trees I had thought looked so beautiful before, now looked like crumpled pieces of paper in a waste bin. Despite being so tall, in the mirror they were short and their branches were twisted. Even the powdered snow, which continued to fall, looked filthy in the mirror.

The woman. The woman beside me. She…

Beside me stood what looked like a life-sized doll, filled with gears. From the waist down was the frame of a skirt, which looked like a bird cage, something a woman from the middle ages would wear. Between the wooden slats of the skirt frame I could see a large pocket watch. But the hands of the pocket watch were twisted and the face of it was filled with symbols I did not understand. I could not tell what time it was supposed to show. The hour hand, minute hand and second hand were all twisted into a spiral, and they all turned. Still, I thought that it must be telling some sort of time. Where her face was, where it should be, was a round outline of a face. It had hinges and had swung open. It was still swinging back and forth slightly. Inside it looked like the inside of a clock. There were countless gears and springs of all sizes ticking along in an orderly way. There was a shattered clock face, and a single clock hand, clicking and vibrating in place, by the number seventeen. It kept vibrating on seventeen. Even though there is no seventeen on a clock, it was there, on that clock like thing.

[121]

But it wasn’t just that number. All of the numbers were seventeen.

The face, the cover… It was swinging, the woman’s face was a door, a cover, and it was swinging.

Upon that face a single snowflake blew in and landed, creating a ripple.

The eye was shaking, the eye that snowflake just fell into. It was convulsing.

I turned my neck away from the window to face her. There she was, like a large doll, staring at me. It wasn’t that she had forgotten how to smile. After all, dolls don’t smile.

“You…” It just slipped out, I couldn’t help it. “What are you?”

[122]

“I am a witch,” she said softly.

This time, her lips were moving.

“I am a witch. A witch who performs puppet theater, a witch of the forest, a witch named Alice Margatroid, an empty stage mechanism. Do you know? Humans are not reproduced, they are not reprinted. Some times in a person’s life, like the man with his head of lice, they will set their eyes deep into space, beyond the film of green, staring as if it consumes all else. Right beside them I feel the mocking laughter of the ghosts beside them, that I feel during those times.”

Before I knew it this woman, named Alice, was right beside me. She was touching my cheek.

It was cold.

“You could say that all of the power lines and cables that are hung all over and spread throughout the city are its brain. Within that brain, humans are not reproduced. They are not reprinted.”

She drew my face closer to hers, speaking in a whisper, her voice white like snow.

[123]

“There is a mirror inside of your eye.”

“A mirror…?”

“A fragment of the mirror we made long ago.”

“You made a mirror?”

“Yes, we did. What we called it then, however, was a witch mechanism.”

“A witch… mechanism?”

“Yes, a witch mechanism. We made it so that everyone could be happy.”

“Happy?”

“Happiness may be a personal matter, but on the other hand, misfortune is often a social matter. At least, that is what some people say. But you see it may be that happiness is the more social of the two.”

Those words, just like the words of the one I loved, went right over my head.

“Eternal beings made the world as it is now. If only they would forget their heavenly dignity for even for a moment, for just enough time it would take for them to shatter the head of a single girl with a hammer, to make ‘our’ world a little easier to breathe than that of a fish flung from the sea and into a boat, to make blatant the many secrets and things of the occult, if only that would happen then…”

As she paused, Alice smiled, for the very first time, twisting her lips slightly.

[124]

“…it certainly would be an event.”

“Event?”

“We are looking for an event. Something that will cultivate the void, and allow us to find a world of eternal happiness.”

“Will I…”

As I paused, Alice said nothing, but only stared with blue eyes.

“Will I be happy then too?”

“Yes, of course.”

I still don’t know why I asked that question, but…

That was how Alice and I first met.

***

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Comedic Mechanism: Parade of the Jane Does (93/291)

I reserve the right to remove this translation without warning.

Progress:
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CONTENT WARNING: RAPE
While not overwhelmingly explicit, if you would like to avoid this content for whatever reason, skip pages 88-90. This includes the aftermath reaction.

This section concludes chapter 1. Chapter 2 is my favorite in the book, but whether or not I start right away on it depends on a couple of variables. If you like the story/translation so far and want to see more, donating is a great way to pressure me into working on it!

This an experiment.

If you would like to see more, please donate. [PayPal]

Translation Notes:
[75] ” When you come across…” < Excerpt is taken from Maldoror and Poems (Translated by Paul Knight) as I was able to identify it as the source of the quote in Japanese. Slight modifications were made to match the scope of the Japanese version of the quote.
[76] It is disturbing that a single grave be measured in hectares, given that a single hectare is 10000 square meters.
[76] St. Anthony's Fire is the name of a condition called Ergoism, caused by alkaloid poisoning. It has been linked to symptoms of bewitchment, but may be used here as the fire by which convicted witches burned. There was also an outbreak in France in 1951.
[78] It would help to have at least a basic understanding of the Izanagi/Izanami myth, and the story of Merry and Renko's visit to the Torifune Satellite.
[79] The Orpheus being referred to appears to be the one from the 1950 French film.
[81] The description of the purple spots matches the symptoms of St. Anthony's Fire.

Comedic Mechanism: Parade of the Jane Does

[5]

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: A Night of Unpleasant Rain – 7
Chapter 2: March of the Saints – 95
Chapter 3: An Unbearable Existence in Suffering – 191
Chapter 4: An Emptiness Devoid of Color Contrast – 257

[15/291]
[35/291]
[56/291]
[73/291]

[73]

***

Merry stood in front of the stairs to the restricted section of the library.

Why did I come here?

Merry asked herself again.

What is it I want to do?

She listened alone to the clicking sound of her own footsteps as she made her way down the stairs, staring at the wall of the staircase. This time, the pillar was there. It wasn’t a John’s staircase. It wasn’t the same as it was before.

With a final click she stopped walking.

[74]

Was it really only a dream?

This isn’t the first time, I’m always just… no. That’s not it. The boundaries are fickle things. Just because I saw it yesterday, doesn’t mean that it will be in the same place today. It’s as if they flow along a stream.

Merry took another step and then continued down the stairs. What awaited her was… the second floor. Nothing else.

Merry walked over to one of floor’s reading desks and sat down. The database on the first floor was enough for everyone’s needs – that was common sense. However, reference materials for mathematical history were not there, but here. That’s what Renko had said. It wasn’t as if Merry had any interest in the topic before, but humans are simple creatures. “I saw it referenced in a book I once read.” “A friend had mentioned it to me during one of our conversations.” These are reasons enough to reach for a book.

Merry started walking down the aisles and stopped when she came across one label tacked on the shelves: “Mathematical History”.

“Do you know why mathematics was born?”

A quiet and raspy voice reached Merry’s ears from behind. When she turned around, there was but a single bookshelf behind her. However…

[75]

…in between the books on the shelves were the twisted parts of a human being: violet bellflower hair, porcelain skin, and thin lips twisted in the shape of a crescent moon.

“Fare thee well, Miss Ghost?”

Merry felt a sudden sense of vertigo, as if something was turning deep inside her brain. A sickly sweet taste of vomit rose in her throat.

“When you come across a dead dog lying on its back against a sluice gate which will not let it through, do not, as others do, go up and pick out the worms crawling from its swollen belly, examine them in wonder, and take out a knife and cut up a large number of them.”

So the witch laughed as she spoke, holding a cup of tea in her hand, the arm of which extended from the second to lowest shelf.

“In a forest were a people who lived killing goats. You might describe their congregation as the world’s most ancient city. One night, as they sat around the fire, there was a discussion amongst themselves. Who was it that had hunted the most goats? In seeking the answer, they took a bone from each of their goat’s corpses. One from the first, the second, the third, the fourth, and they stacked these bones on top of one another. Then they gave names to these bones for the first time: hii (one), fuu (two), mii (three), you (four)…”

[76]

“Those are some very Japanese sounding names,” said Merry.

“Well this is Japan. I just changed them to match. Would you rather I say their names in Romanian?”

“No, I’m fine with the Japanese version…”

“Well that’s good to hear.”

“Are goats really the first things that were counted?”

“Oh, that was only a fairytale, nothing more. However, the emergence of numbers was always in response to the practical need to count quantifiable things. It is necessary to know how many inches you need for the height of the coffin, how many hectares you need for the extent of the grave, how many individuals died by the fires of St. Anthony. Mathematics was simply a tool to answer those questions. Was. When did it become more than just a tool? Perhaps it coincided with the advent of the zero. Perhaps not. It may be due to something simpler than that.”

“Something simpler?”

“Maybe it was simply because counting only goats was no longer enough for them. In the midst of counting all those goats, again and again, everyone forgot. They forgot why they had to name the first bone ‘one’. Everyone called that first bone ‘one’, but why was that? Everyone who had gathered and named those bones in the beginning were long dead, and the later peoples began to waver, to wonder why, but no one could remember. This is how mathematical history holds up as a field of study. It exists so that we do not again forget what have once forgotten.”

[77]

The witch’s voice echoed weakly across the rows of shelves.

“Tell me, Miss Ghost. What is it that you have forgotten?” The witch asked.

Merry couldn’t understand what she meant.

“But I haven’t forgotten anything…”

“Are you sure? Then why is it that you look so troubled?”

“Troubled?”

“Perhaps it would be more correct to say ‘look as if you have trouble understanding’.”

“I… I don’t… feel that way.”

“I see. But are you sure?”

“Enough about me. I wanted to ask about you.”

“I am a witch. The 1 1/17th floor, a witch named Patchouli Knowledge. That is all.”

“Are you from the other side?”

“The other side. When you say ‘the other side’, do you mean the place that you are standing right now?”

“What…?”

“I am a witch. Only a witch. The other side… This side… These sides you speak of, in regards to which you wonder whether something belongs to one or the other, they are nothing but ink stains. The only ones that ascribe any meaning to them are ‘you’.”

[78]

One of the witch’s fingers pointed at Merry.

“If ‘we’ are but single entities, single fates, then building any kind of moral experience becomes impossible. Humans should be able to abandon themselves to the void. The so called freedom that comes of choosing whether to accept one’s fate or to not accept one’s fate does not carry any meaning. It is a matter of defining what ‘we’ are, and what we should be, but at the same time though that may be our true nature, in the strict sense it is not an activity that carries meaning. Rather it is simply a possibility, a simple truth related to the existence of a potential.”

The witch put on airs as she made this assertion, as if she were singing from a stage.

Merry then heard the sound of rustling paper. The innards of the coffin-like bookshelf which housed the witch’s body was writhing. The books jumbled together as they moved and the witch’s body twisted into the shape of a spiral.

“Yes, that’s right. You saw Izanagi, that thing buried within the prison of Torifune. You know what kind of god Izanagi was, don’t you?”

“What kind…?”

“I’m talking about the story written in the Kojiki. The resting place of the god who treated as filth what he had once took upon his shoulders out of love, that is the kind of place Torifune is. When mold kills a thousand, will give rise to a thousand five hundred, breaking through the accursed bonds of the world of the dead, it will give birth to a country. That precisely was Yakumo’s wish. Isn’t that right, Miss Ghost?”

“What do you mean by ‘ghost’? Why do you keep calling me a ghost?”

It had been bothering Merry all this time, and she couldn’t ignore it any longer.

“Grapes and bamboo shoots and peaches, that is how Yakumo’s love has been paid, and that love is you, Miss Ghost. You are bound by a curse from the past. A curse, yes a curse. You are the same as the wishes of the women who burned to death from St. Anthony’s fire. You are the same as what Orpheus saw in the country beyond the mirror. Have you heard of the Devil’s Mirror?”

“The Devil’s Mirror?”

“Yes. It was the final and only curse laid upon Torifune. How pitiable are those that take a fragment of that devil’s mirror into their hearts. Before long they become like clump of ice. Look, and everything appears twisted. Look at a red rose and you will see it infested with insects. Look at a white rose and you sill see it geometrically twisted. Every rose becomes tainted. The same applies to the box. Yes, for that is Torifune’s curse.”

Merry heard the sound of interlocking gears moving. Click tick creak click.

[80]

Creak click tick creak click tick click.
Tick click creak click tick click creak click.
Creak click creak creak click tick click creak click.

The floor beneath Merry’s feet began to slip. Without a sound, without a soul, the library began to crumble, fall.

Merry’s body was falling, falling upside down. Her vision was warping cylindrically, consisting only of varying shades of black.

Then she saw a crack, a world made of only red and black. It was the bottom of a well, the sky seen looking up from the bottom of a well, the night colored sky seen looking up from the bottom of a well.

The red crack formed itself into the simple shape of an eye, and then… a single crow was flying.

[81]

But that crow… Its body was made of arms. Children’s arms, old women’s arms, men’s arms, all sorts of arms, crammed together without any gaps between them. The entire surface was made of arms. But all of those arms… Those arms and arms and arms… The skin of all those arms was covered in blackened and purple spots. But its eyes. The eyes were a single color, a bright red…

It was staring directly at Merry. Staring at Merry as she fell.

It flapped its wings once, and flew right past her, the wind wailing behind it.

“Nevermore.”

It felt as if that’s what it was screaming at her.

“After the crow flew behind her, it turned its belly to the sky and fell along with her, its wings spread out before Merry’s eyes as she looked back. It seemed as if they were drawing a sphere, as if those countless arms were reaching out to embrace her.”

“On demande des moustiques domestiques (demi-stock) pour la cure d’azote sure la cote d’azur. (Seeking domestic mosquitoes (half-stock) for the nitrogen cure on the Azure Coast.)”

A spiral spins ’round and ’round. The spiral shaped sky turns with the clicks of the gears.

“Come now, Miss Ghost. Unbind it.

[82]

“Unbind it…?”

“Yes. Unbind Izanagi’s curse.”

***

Merry looked out from her veranda.

“I’ve got to try to sleep tonight,” she whispered to herself.

What is causing me to be like this? Merry thought, absentmindedly.

With her back to the veranda’s railing, she hugged her knees. Her portable terminal displayed the time as 2:34 am, the stars slowly rotating in the night sky.

Merry just could not bring herself to call her friend. The words that the witch had told her, the images the witch had shown her, they were still racing about in her mind. The curse… So what? What did any curse have to do with her? Her head felt heavy, tinged with headache.

[83]

“Mary?”

The glass door to the veranda slid open.

“You’re having trouble sleeping again?”

Merry nodded in response, at least that’s what her intention was. It may have looked to her boyfriend that she only tilted her head.

Merry’s boyfriend walked out barefoot onto the veranda and sat down next to her. He had two mugs in his hands. He handed one to Merry who wrapped both hands around it and felt the warmth seep into her fingertips. It was not very hot, so he must have let the drinks cool a bit before he walked out with them. Merry looked into the milky brown surface of the liquid, and took a sip. As she brought the drink to her lips a bittersweet flavor flowed over her tongue.

“You know, every now and then I wonder…” Her boyfriend broke the silence.

“Mmhm?”

“I wonder if this world is nothing more than a butterfly specimen.”

Merry turned to look at her boyfriend, but his profile was blacked out by the night.

“Well, it’s just, uh… I met someone who was saying stuff like that. ‘The way I am right now, it’s like I’m a butterfly specimen, shut away in a case with pin right through me.’ That sort of thing. I sort of felt, you know, that I understood where he was coming from.”

[84]

“I don’t get it. What do you mean?”

“I mean it’s like we’ve lost our sense of ambiguity. It’s dead to us, don’t you think? Aren’t humans supposed to more fluid and indeterminate? The way things are right now, everything is so fixed and certain. But what do you expect, the way we’ve been denying ambiguity for so long.”

“Wait, are you talking about that… ‘Fantasy Release Movement’?”

“Oh, you’ve heard of it?”

“Just today… Well, technically yesterday. My friend told me about it.”

“Ah.”

“…Do you want to run away?”

“Huh?”

“Do you… want to run away from something?”

“Do I want to run away? Hmm…”

As her boyfriend paused, Merry felt her breath drift off and away transparently, into the night sky.

“Well I suppose I do.”

“From what?”

“Everything I guess.”

[85]

“I… see.”

Merry didn’t feel like pursuing the question.

Tell me.

Those words flashed through her mind, but even though she knew that is what she should say to him, despite knowing that that’s what she should say, it just… it just felt like it would be too much of a pain. But is that really what she felt? Deep down inside she knew. She just wasn’t interested. She… just wasn’t interested in him anymore.

As Merry stared at her boyfriend’s darkened profile, she wondered. Just what kind of face did this person have? It felt as if the image she had of him was fading out. As his face mixed with the black of night she couldn’t see anything. She couldn’t see.

“What do you think, Mary?”

“About what?”

“Don’t you think that we should accept ambiguity?”

“I don’t know…”

Merry had had enough.

[86]

She was sick of this.

Merry felt her eyes trembling.

This is enough, she thought. I’ve seen too much of this already. I just can’t…

A feather drifted down between Merry and her boyfriend. It was a dark, black crow’s feather. When she picked the feather up off of the concrete, the shaft and vane of it twisted and warped. It was a crow’s feather, but made of twisted arms with mottled flesh.

Merry looked up and saw a half moon in the sky, and under the bluish white light of the moon, a single crow was flying.

Crows always aimed for weaker prey, for ones they could torment without any threat to themselves, and when they found that prey, with a wicked laugh would they peck with their beaks.

“Mary?”

Merry reached her fingers towards the moon.

[87]

“The crow.”

“Crow?”

“It’s laughing.”

Red fissures, they had spread all throughout the night sky. Before long, everything might come crashing down.

Then, a single fragment of the night came fluttering down, in the same shape as that crow’s feather, and Merry saw it fall right into the eyes of her boyfriend, who had looked up at the sky the same as her. She watched silently as it sunk into him.

The devil’s mirror. It was in a fairy tale she had read long, long ago. A witch once made a mirror, such that if you looked into it, everything you saw was twisted. A tall and slender man who stood in front of the mirror would see a hunchback looking back at him. A beautiful rose garden would look like a pest infested, rotten dump.

Everything lost its congruity, because disgustingly twisted, and hid its true form.

[88]

However, the witch would say this: No, what this mirror shows is your true form.

The disciples of the witch wanted to take this mirror and place it in front of God. But before they could take it into the heavens, the mirror shattered into a million pieces, showering its fragments across the land. When those fragments fell into someone’s eyes…

“Mary. We really were wrong, wrong about everything, from the very beginning.”

When Merry’s boyfriend turned to face her, it was so filled with mottled spots that it looked like a beehive. His eyes, his nose, his mouth, his ears, they were all gone. All that was left was the spindle-shaped outline of an expressionless face, with its insides filled all over with spots. Spots? They were holes. His face was filled with holes, and in those holes, Merry could see nothing. The holes were shallow, but everything had been gouged out.

“So we have to accept it. We have to accept ambiguity, accept the other side.”

That was the last thing Merry’s boyfriend said, before he raped her.

He pushed her forcibly to the ground and brought his face, now only a mottled flap of skin before hers. The rough outlines of the gouged spots came closer and closer, and unable to bear looking at it, Merry turned her eyes away.

Dry and without any lubrication, all Merry felt was pain and discomfort as he forced himself into her. As he thrust into her again and again, she felt nothing more. This was someone else’s pain. Her emotions were separated from her body. The only thing she felt was real was the sense she felt right before all this.

[89]

That’s what it was.

I really don’t love him anymore.

And he… He is no longer able to love me.

Merry could hear the sound, deep within her ears, of the boundaries creaking, with a ticking sound like a clock. The other side, it was all over his body, the body on top of hers. The skin she could see through his clothes, along his neck, his collarbone, his arms, his thighs, his penis… They were all like his face, with black spots all over them, carved out of them, like pots made of sheet copper. Something else, only shaped like a person, was raping her.

This wasn’t her. This was someone else. This didn’t concern her.

The entire time, until everything was over, she bit down hard on her bottom lip.

The taste of the blood she felt flow over her tongue. That was the only thing that felt real.

***

By the time the sun had risen, he was gone.

Merry lay half-naked on the veranda. Still in a daze, she lifted her upper body and felt something drip down her crotch. Thinking it was semen, she looked between her legs, but what she saw was not the familiar fluid, but crushed butterfly larvae. It was just the crushed remains of a white caterpillar.

[90]

Merry felt an icy, tingling sensation run down her back. She pushed her body away from the remains, and backed into her apartment on all fours. When she tried to stand up, she felt a dull pain as if she was menstruating, and she could not stop her legs from shaking. She dragged herself across the apartment and into the bathroom, reaching up to a touch panel to start the shower. (The faucet was a thing of the past. In this current age of science, all sorts of analog controls were replaced with digital panels.) Warm water fell against her body. She was still wearing clothes, and her wet shirt clung to her skin. It felt unimaginably disgusting. She tore crazily at her clothes and threw them out of the bathtub. Her shoulders were now naked. She continued to sit in the tub as the shower ran over her. She wanted to wash it all away. She wanted to wash everything away. It was in that moment, Merry felt, if only just a little, that she understood the feeling of wanting to run away. But now that meant nothing. Whatever it was that was put inside of her, slowly glopped out of her genitals and ran down with the shower water and into the sewage line.

After everything had come out, Merry slowly got onto her feet and left the tub. She grabbed a towel and wiped herself down before going back out into the main room.

[91]

Nothing looked different. The room looked the same as it always did. But despite that… Merry felt as if she was looking at this room for the first time. All of the papers pinned on the walls, filled with words written in neurotic handwriting.

“We must accept ambiguity.” “We must become one with the other side.” “Embrace the fantasy” “Unification of Ego” “It wasn’t a deficiency.” “Freedom from the City” “Denial of the Cargo Cult” “I” “Freedom from the People” “Cannot” “Izanagi Object” “Keep Loving Her” “Release the Fantasy” “Freedom from the Present” “Farewell” “Until the day we meet the sky…”

Ah…

I really couldn’t see anything, could I?
I never loved him did I? Not from the very beginning.
He was the one who could not love me in the end.
We were so clearly broken, all this time, yet…
I didn’t see anything.
I was too busy looking at the other side.
I had stopped looking at him.

[92]

Merry reached for the portable terminal she had left on the glass table, and opened her address book.

“Hello?”

After three rings, she answered.

“Hey, Renko…”

Tell me.

“That Fantasy Release Movement… Do you know where its current headquarters are?”

“Why?”

“Please, tell me. I cannot be 100% sure, but…”

I can see them.
I can see them broken, just like the boyfriend I could not see.
I can see the boundaries, right outside the window.
I can see, on the railing of the veranda, right there.
I can see the crow.
I can see the giant crow, laughing at me.

“…the boundaries are broken.”

(END OF CHAPTER 1)

Los! Los! Los!


Charismatic Anti-Hero(ine)

58/5000
Fire! Barrage! Come on!
Attention! Cover! Lie down! Stop!
^ Straight out of Google Translate
(Sorry, I know nothing about German, save for eins zwei drei.)

Anyway, more rehabilitation exercises.

*Google Translate has been overturned with various suggestions from those who know more about the language. Thank you!

Notes:
The first line of the fourth (Japanese) stanza must have been cut from the song because it is unsung. It is, however, still in the lyrics booklet and helps set the context for some of the other lines.

“Show what you are made of, pointless though it may be!”
I like the word 徒花 “adabana” (used in this line), which is a non-fruit bearing (or otherwise “pointless”) flower that is just for show. It is almost exclusively used in a rhetorical sense. You’re meaningless, I’m meaningless, they’re meaningless. If everyone is meaningless and everything is meaningless, then at least do something to distinguish yourself from the rest, even if in the end, it still means nothing.

Los! Los! Los!
歌:ターニャ・デグレチャフ(CV.悠木碧)

Feuer! Sperrfeuer! Los!
Achtung! Deckung! Hinlegen! Halt!

Fire! Barrage! Go!
Watch Out! Cover! Get Down! Stop!

戦場へ!前線へ!そして死の淵まで!
命捨てたその覚悟を示せ!

sen’jou e! zen’sen’ e! soshite shi no fuchi made!
inochi suteta sono kakugo wo shimese!

To the battlefield! To the front lines! Onward to the abyss of death!
Show me you are willing to throw your lives away!

Feuer! Sperrfeuer! Los!
Achtung! Deckung! Hinlegen! Halt!

Fire! Barrage! Go!
Watch Out! Cover! Get Down! Stop!

聴こえるだろう あの砲声が
抵抗する蛆の聲だ
踏み潰せ!踏み潰せ!

kikoeru darou ano housei ga
teikou suru uji no koe da
fumitsubuse! fumitsubuse!

Can you hear the chorus of rifle fire?
It’s the voices of the maggots that resist us
Crush them, crush them underfoot!

諸君、我々の任務は何だ
殲滅だ!
一機残らずの殲滅だ!
為すべきことは唯一つ
地獄を創れ!

shokun’, wareware no nin’mu wa nan’ da
sen’metsu da!
ikki nokorazu no sen’metsu da!
nasubeki koto wa tada hitotsu
jigoku wo tsukure!

Ladies and gentlemen, what is our mission?
Annihilation!
Complete and total annihilation!
Only one thing is required of you
Make it Hell down there!

何故炎の中進んで行くのか
弾丸の雨に打たれに行くのか
笑止千万!帝国の為だ!

(naze honoo no naka susun’deyuku no ka)
dan’gan’ no ame ni utare ni yuku no ka
shoushisen’man’! kuni no tame da!

Why do we advance through the flames?
Why do we run under the rain of bullets?
Don’t make me laugh! It’s for the empire!

戦場へ!前線へ!そして死の淵まで!
命捨てた覚悟を示せよ!
忠誠を!従順を!そして其の魂を
全てを捧げ勝鬨を上げよ!

sen’jou e! zen’sen’ e! soshite shi no fuchi made!
inochi suteta kakugo wo shimese yo!
chuusei wo! juujun’ wo! soshite sono tamashii wo
subete wo sasage kachidoki wo age yo!

To the battlefield! To the front lines! Onward to the abyss of death!
Show me you are willing to throw your lives away!
Offer up your allegiance! Your obedience! Your very souls!
Offer up everything and raise a cry of victory!

さあ此処に築いてみせろ!
天に届く死体の山を!

saa koko ni kizuitemisero!
ten’ ni todoku hito no yama wo!

Build for me a mountain of corpses!
Make it reach to the very heavens!

Feuer! Sperrfeuer! Los!
Achtung! Deckung! Hinlegen! Halt!

Fire! Barrage! Go!
Watch Out! Cover! Get Down! Stop!

どこに恐怖があると言うんだ
見ろ 血肉が花火の様だ
撒き散らす 撒き散らす

doko ni kyoufu ga aru to iun’ da
miro chiniku ga hanabi no you da
makichirasu makichirasu

What do you mean fear? Tell me where you see it!
Look at the blood and flesh, it’s like fireworks!
Spray, spray them all about!

千の傷跡 忘れちゃいないさ
炎の熱も 零れた臓腑も
最後の呻きも 濁った瞳も
嗚呼、それこそを求めるのだ!

sen’ no kizuato wasurechainai sa
honoo no netsu mo koboreta zoufu mo
saigo no umeki mo nigotta hitomi mo
aa, sore koso wo motomeru no da!

I haven’t forgotten the thousand scars
The flame’s heat nor the spilled innards
Dying wails, nor eyes clouded over
Ah, for that is exactly what we seek!

安寧も平穏も増して和解なんて
牙を捨てた飼い犬の所業
絶望と動乱を掛けた狂気の沙汰は
地獄よりも 楽園の様だ

an’nei mo heion’ mo mashite wakai nan’te
kiba wo suteta kaiinu no shogyou
zetsubou to douran’ wo kaketa kyouki no sata wa
jigoku yori mo rakuen’ no you da

Those who deal in peace and harmony, in reconciliation
Are but domesticated dogs who have abandoned their fangs
The insanity that comes of despair and strife
Feels like one more of paradise than hell

その四肢は躍る為に
踊り狂う為有るのだ!

sono shishi wa odoru tame ni
odorikuruu tame aru no da!

Those limbs are for you to dance
For you to dance yourself insane!

人間に価値など無い
価値無き者同士の争いに
命の徒花を咲かせてみせろ!

nin’gen’ ni kachi nado nai
kachinaki mono doushi no arasoi ni
inochi no adabana wo sakasetemisero!

Humans have no worth of any kind,
So in this war among worthless beings,
Show what you are made of, pointless though it may be!

法律も秩序でも 狂った奴が創ってる
まさに笑撃 不条理だけの起承転結

houritsu mo chitsujou demo kurutta yatsu ga tsukutteru
masa ni farce fujouri dake no kishouten’ketsu

Even law and order is created by those who are insane
It is a farce, a stage play built on absurdity alone

戦場へ!前線へ!そして死の淵まで!
命捨てた覚悟を示せよ!
忠誠を!従順を!そして其の魂を
全て捧げ勝鬨を上げよ!

sen’jou e! zen’sen’ e! soshite shi no fuchi made!
inochi suteta kakugo wo shimese yo!
chuusei wo! juujun’ wo! soshite sono tamashii wo
subete sasage kachidoki wo ageyo!

To the battlefield! To the front lines! Onward to the abyss of death!
Show me you are willing to throw your lives away!
Offer up your allegiance! Your obedience! Your very souls!
Offer up everything and raise a cry of victory!

さあ此処に築いてみせろ!
天に届く死体の山に
木霊する憎しみさえ
掻き消す爆発音

saa koko ni kizuitemisero!
ten’ ni todoku hito no yama ni
kodama suru nikushimi sae
kakikesu bakuhatsuon’

Build for me a mountain of corpses!
Make it reach to the very heavens!
Even the ever resounding hate
Cannot be heard over the explosions!

Feuer! Sperrfeuer! Los!
Achtung! Deckung! Hinlegen! Halt!

Fire! Barrage! Go!
Watch Out! Cover! Get Down! Stop!

Comedic Mechanism: Parade of the Jane Does (73/291)

I reserve the right to remove this translation without warning.

It’s been a long while since I was able to get the last installment out. Thank you for your patience.

This time we have a conversation between Merry and Renko at their usual café, with a little bit of backstory. I added some markers for when who’s talking isn’t very clear, but not many. If you want me to clarify who says any particular line, let me know.

This is the second to last installment of the first chapter. Please enjoy.

If you catch some grammatical mistakes, please tell me. I will fix them.

Progress:
[15/291]
[35/291]
[56/291]
[73/291]
[93/291]

This an experiment.

If you would like to see more, please donate. [PayPal]

Comedic Mechanism: Parade of the Jane Does

[5]

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: A Night of Unpleasant Rain – 7
Chapter 2: March of the Saints – 95
Chapter 3: An Unbearable Existence in Suffering – 191
Chapter 4: An Emptiness Devoid of Color Contrast – 257

[15/291]
[35/291]
[56/291]

[56]

“Are you talking about the incident that happened yesterday?”

Merry had an hour before she had to go to her afternoon classes, and was passing the time over a cup of tea, with her friend Renko, at the open café terrace on campus. The way the crowds of passing students in the background acted, you would never have guessed an explosion had happened nearby, just yesterday. It would not be a stretch to say that they seemed… emotionless.

[57]

“Yes. Last night I saw one of those videos the bomber uploads before they act,” Merry responded.

“Well isn’t that a rare find…”

“I’m not sure I consider myself lucky though…”

“Still, your boyfriend must really have a wide network. Those videos are premier items right now, you know?”

“Really?”

“Absolutely. An explosion always happens within an hour of a video being uploaded, and after the incident, the video won’t last another hour before its taken down by the authorities. If you don’t find it immediately, it’s gone before you know it. No one has been able to predict the timing of the uploads either.”

“If that’s the case, is there really any point in uploading the videos in the first place? Hardly anyone will see them.”

“It might be that they want the videos to be seen by some specific person, and don’t care about anyone else.”

“A specific person?”

“Yeah. Not that I have any idea who that might be…”

“Well it would be a problem if you did know.”

“Why is that?”

“It would mean you’re the bomber, right?”

“Or possibly the person they’re trying to send a message to.”

[58]

“Oh? You know the kind of frightening people that would start a chain of bombing incidents?”

“Didn’t you know, my dear Merry? I’ve been living my life on the edge for quite some time now.”

“Well that’s news to me. So what’s this information net of yours for anyway?”

“It’s mainly so I can get the answer sheets to the final exams.”

“That’s even more surprising. I thought you, my friend, were one to be against cheating.”

“You’re not wrong. I’m against it. If you don’t learn the material, there’s really no point in taking classes at all.”

“Then why would you want answer sheets to the final exams?”

“So I can sell them to other students.”

“Oh, okay.”

“Well anyway, jokes aside…”

“That was a joke?”

“Oh come on, Merry. Rather than doing all that dangerous work for a little extra change, it’s in your best interest to go the legal route and receive just remuneration for your hard labor. That way no one can blame you if you make a lot of money.”

“That makes sense. So I take it you’re having fun being a tutor?”

“The best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else.”

[59]

“I see. But aren’t you tutoring a high school student?”

“In order to explain to a high school student the concept of something being negative, you must first understand what causes something to be negative in the first place.”

“That’s the way it works?”

“Exactly the way it works. I’d go so far to say that it’s beneficial to what I’m studying now.”

“Well aren’t you studious. I’m surprised.”

“Yes, I am. So much that you really should complement me more.”

“I’ll make a note to do so next time we go out drinking.”

“Looking forward to it, but you know what really would be wonderful? If you’d pay the tab too while you’re at it.”

“What happened to that just remuneration you were talking about, Ms. Tutor?”

“Hey Merry, did you know? Money goes away when you use it.”

“U-huh. My money goes away when I use it too.”

“But my money doesn’t go away when you use yours.”

“But mine does.”

“What an irrational world we live in.”

“It’s fairly logical if you ask me.”

[60]

“Being logical doesn’t necessarily mean something is not irrational.”

“Then which is less rational? The world, or someone on Plato’s level spouting sophistry?”

“The world.”

“No turning back, huh.”

“In this world, it’s important to know when to give up.”

“Don’t you mean when to dig your heels in?”

“…It’s a figure of speech.”

“Well that’s our Renko for you. It’s like your mouth was born first, and everything else came afterwards.”

“I’m pretty sure I came out head first.”

“Well, yeah. Unless your mother had a C-section.”

“There weren’t any complications as far as I know. I came out at three kilograms.”

“Well congratulations on a healthy birth.”

Renko brought her paper coffee cup to her lips.

“I wonder how long it will be until they’re caught,” said Merry.

“Who? You?”

“What reason do I have to be arrested? I’m talking about the one behind all the explosions. ICQ, I think?”

[61]

“Oh, okay. Right. I think they will soon. Otherwise…”

“Otherwise?”

Renko pointed her finger toward an area of the university grounds.

When Merry turned to look, she saw a group of students. They were all shouting something.

“What’s that?” Merry asked.

“The so called ‘Fantasy Release Movement’.”

“The what?”

“It’s that group that claims all these explosions are an ‘attempt to free us from this world where now science is king’. They’ve been around since before the explosions started happening though.”

When all Renko got in response was a blank look, she raised one of her eyebrows in surprise.

“You haven’t heard of them, Merry? Most of the group’s members are from your field of study.”

“Really?”

“Well, I suppose I should be relieved you have no idea, to be honest.”

According to Renko, the group behind the “Fantasy Release Movement” formed after the “Fantasy Meltdown”, which resulted in the destruction of Old Tokyo twelve years ago.

[62]

It began with the national government’s plans to mount a response to growing concerns of “Border Induced Ego-Loss Syndrome”, which was a term used to describe a condition where it was thought that borders were interfering with an individual’s awareness and ability to distinguish themselves from others. It was thought that when a person came into contact with the other side of a boundary, “something” would flow into them, in a process not unlike osmosis. How to approach and define this “something” has been a topic of debate in the academic world, but no studies have yet proved to be conclusive. However, there was a consensus that whatever this “something” was, as it diffused into an individual it corrupted several cognitive functions which led to permanent ego-loss.

As part of the government’s response to this problem, a large scale “boundary hunting operation” was undertaken. (However, all of the records from that time were lost during what would later be known as the “Fantasy Meltdown”, so all obtainable information is on the same level as urban legends.) Much is left unclear, but what we do know is that as a result of this boundary hunting operation, roughly eighty percent of East Tokyo’s ten million residents had their awareness drift across the boundary. In the face of this “Fantasy Meltdown” all branches of the government ceased to function, and there was no choice but to relocate the capital to West Kyoto.

Shortly after, interacting with boundaries was banned by the government, and several laws were put into place with the expressed purpose of preventing a second meltdown. Even research on the boundaries was prohibited. However, a paper published by an academic before the meltdown was later discovered in a database, titled “The Fundamental Theory of Humanity and its Origins in the Boundaries”.

[63]

The paper argued that the boundaries are our original form, that the ego-loss several people are experiencing was not a symptom but a natural phenomenon that occurs when someone attempts to return to their original form. According to the paper, the current age of science, which exists on a foundation of rejecting fantasy, was unnatural, and the world itself was reacting in a way to restore balance:

“‘The fantasy on the other side of the boundary (defined in the paper as ambiguity)’ is the true world in its balanced state, whereas this world, ruled by purified and distilled theories is the real fake. Therefore, by accepting ambiguity, we can free ourselves from border induced ego-loss syndrome.

“We, as we are now, are unnatural. This world is nothing but an experimental and limited state floating in a flask, and the boundaries are the glass, despicable glass walls that lock us in. We must not close the boundaries. It appears that the government is currently working to close off the boundaries to improve the current situation, but it will only make things worse. By accepting the other side, we should work to make ambiguity a reality. Is it not for that reason which we developed the Torifune Satellite?”

[64]

Of course, everyone at the time of the paper’s discovery thought this was ridiculous. The way the “other side” was described made it sound like something out of an urban legend. The prevailing notion at the time was that the ego-loss syndrome was due to a mold-based biohazard. The government supported the mold theory and explained the current overgrown state of old Tokyo as spurred on by what it described as an independently evolved species of mold.

However, a certain religious organization supported the theory that was described in the paper. (The organization asserts that it is nothing more than a research organization and that its opinions are grounded in science.) It was this organization that held events for the so-called “Fantasy Release Movement” regularly in West Kyoto. Their purpose was to accept the boundaries, to accept ambiguity, release themselves from a reality filled with imbalances and thus become more truly human. The majority of those who aligned with the group were university students. As a result events resembling political demonstrations had begun to be held on campus.

“Ambiguity, huh.”

“What is your take on it, Merry? Does it seem infantile to you?”

“I don’t think it’s infantile, but… do they really what’s beyond the boundary is worth all this fuss?”

[65]

“But even you feel a sense of excitement when you see across the boundary, right?”

“So do you.”

“In my case, I just think it’s fun to see something I’ve never been able to see before. My interest in the other side is purely academic. But if you were to ask me how I felt all this related to my humanity or whatever… I mean, right?”

“True.”

“When you know something’s hidden from you, it’s natural to want to find out what it is. Plus, government denying everything makes you want to even more.”

“Thus our own delinquent club?”

“Exactly. Our serious investigative activities based primarily on fieldwork. That’s how I think of them anyway.”

“I’m… mostly with you on that.”

That’s great to hear. Otherwise there would be no meaning or worth to our Sealing Club.”

Suddenly, Merry remembered what her boyfriend had told her earlier:

“I think everyone wants to run away from some thing or another. I think that’s what they’re trying to say.”

“Hey, Renko?”

“Hmm?”

[66]

“Do you ever feel like you want to run away from something?”

Renko looked as if she was caught off guard by the question, and stared for a moment before bringing her hand to her face and thinking.

“Renko?”

“Yeah, I suppose,” Renko said quietly.

“I… I see.”

“Probably what I want to run away from the most right now is the reality that I have to pay rent next week.”

“…Are you really that low on money? Even after all your ‘just remuneration’?”

“I may have bought a few too many books…”

“Physical books really matter that much to you?”

“There are important books out there that haven’t been digitized and added to the databases you know? Especially when it comes to the topic of the next lecture I have to go to, ‘The History of Mathematics’.”

“Interesting.”

“Mathematics is constantly being updated, you see, and while all you really need to know is the latest information, when it comes to the study of its history, you have to have to decipher all their past methods, no matter how stupid they may have been.”

[67]

“That’s history for you.”

“Uhuh. I mean, it is fun, but it’s just so expensive to study.”

“But isn’t that what the university’s resources are for?”

“Yeah… I’m probably going to have to lock myself in the restricted section of the library again soon.”

“The restricted… section,” Merry muttered.

“Hey, Renko?”

“Yeah?”

“Did you ever see the human library when you went to the restricted section?”

“You mean the thing you were talking about in your dream?”

Merry nodded.

“Unfortunately I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that. I mean, the only thing waiting for me down the steps is the next floor.”

“You’re right… it wouldn’t make sense otherwise… Just what did I see anyway?”

“I’m sure if anyone in that group over there found out, they’d be all over it.”

“I bet. Oh, by the way, I was meaning to ask you…”

[68]

“Ask me…?”

“We shared that experience the other day, and…”

“Huh?”

“You know, when we shared my vision of when I saw the human library.”

“Oh… yeah, okay.”

“…What exactly did you see?”

“…Nothing.”

“Nothing?”

“That’s right. Yeah. I didn’t see anything. It just felt as if my vision was spinning around and around… enough to make me feel sick.”

“I see… so that’s what it was. I’m sorry.”

“Oh, don’t worry about it. These things happen.”

Renko smiled, but listlessly. When Merry looked at her, she felt a sense of unease, but… she couldn’t bring herself to ask anything more.

[69]

“But really, you would think there would be a more ecological way to conduct their activities, even if they are largely a student group,” Renko muttered as she fiddled with a tumbler she had taken out of her bag.

It was not long before afternoon classes began, and so Renko and Merry left their table at the café and started walking toward their classes. Several other students passed by in the opposite direction, either on their way to their next lecture or from one that just ended.

“What did you have in mind when you said, ‘more ecological’?”

“For example, they could conduct all of their enlightenment activities online.”

“And not go outside?”

“If we’re just talking about the ability to reach out, far more people will know about their activities if it spreads online.”

“But if it’s all just online, wouldn’t they have a harder time controlling their message? People tend to exaggerate and twist information that’s only online.”

“That is a good point. Then maybe they could use the electric message boards,” Renko said, pointing to a large liquid crystal display that had lecture schedules and other information posted. Because the sun was still high in the sky, however, they weren’t very bright at the time.

[70]

“But, how?”

“Well I suppose they’d have to hack into them.”

“Either way, it doesn’t seem like it’d be very effective.”

“Well I guess the kind of activities they do aren’t very ecological in the first place.”

“Besides, the more you have someone try to press some kind of message on you, the less likely you are to believe them. It starts to sound fishy.”

“Whether you agree or disagree, it’s human nature to want to oppose someone who’s yelling at you all the time. That’s why it’s so strange.”

“Hmm?”

“It’s strange because it does work in a way. At least for people who in a state of self-denial. They tend to listen.”

“You think so?”

“It’s that they want someone to accept them… no, that’s not quite right. It’s because they want their self-denial to be accepted that they listen to these words that get shouted at them. They really just can’t help it.”

“Can’t… help it?”

“There are just people in this world that fall into a darkness they can’t pull themselves out of. Songs have been written about it.”

[71]

“…into darkness…” Merry stopped in her tracks.

“Is something wrong?”

“They fall into darkness, begin to hate themselves, and then want to run away from something,” Merry said, looking straight into Renko’s eyes. “I just can’t understand why anyone would feel that way.”

“It’s better not to understand, Merry,” Renko said, pausing to take a sip from her tumbler and looking away. “Actually, it’s normal not to understand.”

“You really think so?”

“Of course. There are terrible things in this world that you can’t really do anything about. You may want to try to do something about it, but nothing changes in the end. That’s why I think some people want to just run away. But you know? Running away won’t solve anything. It won’t change anything. Whenever you run, those things you can do nothing about will still be there. The same way the money in my bank account won’t grow if I stand around doing nothing. It won’t grow, but it can decrease.”

“Decrease?”

“There are some things out there that get worse, the more you run from them. They say that time will solve everything, but that does not mean that time’s solution will be a happy ending. Things cannot stay the same forever, but the only stories that end with everyone smiling are from songs, books and movies.”

“Renko?”

Renko turned back around to face Merry, with a weak smile on her face.

“I can see why people in a dark place would want to listen to anything that sounded good, why they’d want to believe it.”

“Renko, tell me. Do you have something that you want to run away from?”

“Yeah. I’m one of those types that falls into darkness, you know?”

“I see.”

“But you know. I’d never choose to run away.”

“Why?”

“Didn’t I just tell you? You know, about time’s solutions and them not always being happy endings.”

“So what will you do then?”

“Nothing.” Renko took another sip from her tumbler.

[73]

“I’d do nothing,” Renko continued. “I wouldn’t run, nor would I turn to face the problem either. I’d just wait for time to pass, because even if I’m not delivered a happy ending, I’ll still have a solution.”

***

アイラブユーフロムグリニッジ // I Love You From Greenwich

This single is available through Pixiv BOOTH. [link]

“Everyone just wants to live, that’s why. That’s all there is to it.”
^Suspiciously sounds like someone justifying discriminatory or otherwise unsavory behavior to me.

アイラブユーフロムグリニッジ
 I Love You From Greenwich
天空のグリニッジ|大空魔術
vocal: ふじこ
arrangement: オカヤマ
bass: 虚無感
lyric: イマイ
circle: 8686m (はむはむみ)
album: I LOVED FROM GREENWICH (2015/05/10)
event: RTS12

人は皆生きたいから、ただそれだけのこと
屑籠に溢れかえる眼差しはただ優しく

hito wa min’na ikitai kara, tada sore dake no koto
kuzukago ni afurekaeru manazashi wa tada yasashiku

Everyone just wants to live, that’s why. That’s all there is to it.
The glances overflowing from the wastebasket were all just so kind.

人ごみに溶かされてゆくあなたを探すよ
見落とした仮面の下、網膜の裏側を
一人きり佇んでいる誰かが呟いた
「人は皆生きたいから、ただそれだけのこと」と

hitogomi ni tokashiteyuku anata wo sagasu yo
miotoshita kamen’ no shita moumaku no uragawa wo
hitokiri tatazun’deiru dare ka ga tsubuyaita
“hito wa min’na ikitai kara, tada sore dake no koto” to

I’ll search for you, as you melt into the crowd
For what I had missed under the mask, behind the retina
Someone standing all by themselves muttered this,
“Everyone just wants to live, that’s why. That’s all there is to it.”

全部抱きしめて眠るように死んでみたいな

zen’bu dakishimete nemuru you ni shin’demitai na

Well I would love to embrace everything and die as if I were sleeping.

さぁ旅に出ようか
褪せた思い出だけ鞄の底に沈めて
ありふれた理由も取り繕う嘘も
透明な夜空に投げ捨てて

saa tabi ni deyou ka
aseta omoide dake kaban no soko ni shizumete
arifureta riyuu mo toritsukurou uso mo
toumei na yozora ni nagesutete

Well then, shall we go on a journey?
Shove only faded memories into our bags?
Take all the old reasons, the lies to gloss things over and
Throw them out into the transparent night sky?

”たったひとつだけを選べるとしたならあなたは何を選ぶの?”

“tatta hitotsu dake wo eraberu to shita nara anata wa nani wo erabu no?”

“If you could only choose one thing, what would you choose?”

さぁ旅に出ようか
褪せた思い出だけ鞄の底に沈めて
わたしの瞳さえ、あなたの瞳さえ
誤魔化す理由になりもせずに

saa tabi ni deyou ka
aseta omoide dake kaban’ no soko ni shizumete
watashi no hitomi sae, anata no hitomi sae
gomakasu riyuu ni nari mo sezu ni

Well then, shall we go on a journey?
Shove only faded memories into our bag?
Though it won’t be enough a reason to fool
Your eyes, or even my own?

「たったひとつだけだなんて言わないでよ」
そんなの今更言えもせずに

“tatta hitotsu dake da nan’te iwanaide yo”
son’na no imasara ie mo sezu ni

“Don’t say we can only choose one!”
Even after everything I still can’t say that back to you

褪せた日傘の下、隠れてキスをした
秒針は止まらないまま

aseta higasa no shita, kakurete kiss wo shita
byoushin’ wa tomaranai mama

Under a faded parasol we hid, and I kissed you
While the second hand ticked on

Scolded By The Princess


Requested by: masuat
(Remember, requests are still technically closed, and get ignored 95% of the time.)
(Commissions generally aren’t ignored, but whether I accept them is a toss up at the moment.)

Well this is an old one. (2007)

Scolded By The Princess
稲田姫様に叱られるから|東方風神録
Vocal: Misawa Aki
Arrangement: Masayoshi Minoshima
Lyrics: Haruka
Album: EXSERENS / DOLLS
Event: 例大祭5 / C72

幻想の秋司る 鮮やかな時、私の色
冬が来る その前に消えて 闇が私消す

gen’sou no aki tsukasadoru azayaka na toki, watashi no iro
fuyu ga kuru sono mae ni kiete yami ga watashi kesu

I reign over the illusionary autumn, a vibrant time, my color
Before winter comes, I disappear, for the darkness erases me

秋の風、甘い香り出す 優越と幻想を残し
豊穣の夢を そのままに 誰も邪魔させない

aki no kaze, amai kaori dasu yuuetsu to gen’sou wo nokosu
houjou no yume wo sono mama ni dare mo jama sasenai

The autumn wind, carries a sweet fragrance, leaving superiority and fantasy
I will not let anyone interrupt my dream of a bountiful harvest

幻想の秋漂わし 訪れる時、早足でも
冬が来る その前に逃げて 夢が消えぬよう

gen’sou no aki tadayowashi otozureru toki, hayaashi demo
fuyu ga kuru sono mae ni nigete yume ga kienu you

I bring about the illusionary autumn when it comes, even if early
Before winter comes, I flee, so that the dream will not disappear

足早な秋訪れて 鮮やかな色自分隠す
冬が来る その時を拒む 闇が包むから

ashibaya na aki otozurete azayaka na iro jibun’ kakusu
fuyu ga kuru sono toki wo kobamu yami ga tsutsumu kara

An early autumn brings about vibrant colors which will conceal me
I resist when winter comes, for the darkness will envelope me

あなた邪魔するなら消すわ 幻想は渡さない
暗闇などいらないわ 私は消えない

anata jama suru nara kesu wa gen’sou wa watasanai
kurayami nado iranai wa watashi wa kienai

If you will get in my way I will erase you. I will not give up this fantasy
I don’t need or want the darkness. I will not disappear

そうよ夢幻想私だけよ 冬こないから
見えない物があるなら 幻見せるから

sou yo yume gen’sou watashi dake fuyu konai kara
mienai mono ga aru nara maboroshi miseru kara

Yes, for in dreams, in fantasy, for me alone winter will not come
So for those who cannot see them, I will show them an illusion

ホウレン草とサーモンのクリームパスタ // Hourensou to Salmon no Cream Pasta

Rehabilitation exercise.

This song reminds me of tracks from “Merry had a little love” (<echo>Project).

Forgive the awkward wording “not even love can this become”. I still think it fit best.

ホウレン草とサーモンのクリームパスタ
 Hourensou to Salmon no Cream Pasta
 Spinach and Salmon Cream Pasta
衛星カフェテラス|大空魔術
vocal: ふじこ
arrangement: オカヤマ
bass: 虚無感
lyric: イマイ
circle: 8686m (はむはむみ)
album: SPINACH AND SAMON CREAM PASTA (2016/11/18)

世界の終わりはそう簡単には来やしないから
いつものマグカップ、指先でその熱を辿る
靴ひももうまく結べるようになれた気分で
水面の数秒前、瞼の裏で君を探す

sekai no owari wa sou kan’tan’ ni wa kiya shinai kara
itsumo no mug cup, yubisaki de sono netsu wo tadoru
kutsu himo mo umaku musuberu you ni nareta kibun’ de
minamo no suubyoumae, mabuta no ura de kimi wo sagasu

The end of the world never comes as easily as you’d think
So with my finger I trace the heat rising from my usual mug
Feeling like a kid who’s just learned to tie their shoes right
I close my eyes, searching for you on the liquid surface of seconds ago

つつがなく小さな宇宙は淡く満たされてく
明日もきっと晴れるから恋にすらなれない

tsutsu ga naku chiisa na uchuu wa awaku mitasareteku
asu mo kitto hareru kara koi ni sura narenai

A small universe fills faintly without event
As tomorrow too will surely be clear, not even love can this become

世界の終わりはそう簡単には来やしないから
冷えた指先で待ち焦がれてた

sekai no owari wa sou kan’tan’ ni wa kiya shinai kara
hieta yubisaki de machikogareteta

The end of the world never comes as easily as you’d think
So with frozen fingertips I waited, longing for…

窓を揺らす風が吹いた、吹いてしまった!
たったそれだけで色を増やしてゆく
世界の終わりはそう簡単には来やしないまま

mado wo yurasu kaze ga fuita, fuiteshimatta!
tatta sora dake de iro wo fuyashiteyuku
sekai no owari wa sou kan’tan’ ni wa kiya shinai mama

A wind came and shook the window, it shook the window!
That alone was enough to add color
Even if the end of the world wouldn’t so easily come

十字路と信号機、水の匂い
景色の魚は口を閉ざす
電話越しのピアノが口遊む
帰り道を見つけた歌

juujiro to shin’gouki, mizu no nioi
keshiki no sakana wa kuchi wo tozasu
den’wa goshi no piano ga kuchizusamu
kaerimichi wo mitsuketa uta

Intersections and street signals, the smell of water…
The fish of this scenery closes its mouth and
A piano hums on the other end of the phone
A song I found on the way home

手と手、掬い上げても
同じ色、見えやしないけど
膨らむ、カフェラテの泡
水面を、君が照らす

te to te, sukuiagetemo
onajiiro, mieya shinai kedo
fukuramu, café latte no awa
minamo wo, kimi ga terasu

Even if we lift this up, hand in hand
It’s not as if we would see the same colors
But over the billowing foamed surface
Of my café latte, you shine

鈴が鳴る小さな宇宙は淡く満たされてく
明日もきっと晴れるから恋にすらなれないまま

suzu ga naru chiisa na uchuu wa awaku mitasareteku
asu mo kitto hareru kara koi ni sura narenai mama

A bell rings, and a small universe fills faintly
As tomorrow too will surely be clear, as always, not even love can this become

八月、土曜日のこと

hachigatsu, doyoubi no koto

A Saturday, in August.