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lnLo LhlrLvŴfour lanauaaesţ and Lhe mosL recenL of hls manv honors ls Lhe ?omlurl LlLerarv Þrlzeţ whose
prevlous reclplenLs lnclude ?oklo Mlshlmaţ kenzaburo Ceţ and kobe AbeŦ Pls oLher works lnclude Aftet
tbe Oookeť uooce uooce uooceŤ 1be £lepboot voolsbesŤ notJŴbolleJ wooJetlooJ ooJ tbe £oJ of tbe
wotlJŤ kofko oo tbe 5boteŤ 5ootb of tbe 8otJetţ west of tbe 5ooŤ 5potolk 5weetbeottŤ uoJetotoooJŤ A
wllJ 5beep cboseŤ and 1be wloJŴup 8ltJ cbtoolcleŦ
1toosloteJ ftom tbe Iopooese bv Iov koblo
A ulvlslon of 8andom Pouseţ lncŦ
fot moov fêtes
l WAS 1Pl81?ŴSLILn 1PLnţ S18AÞÞLu ln M? SLA1 AS 1PL PuCL 747 plunaed Lhrouah dense cloud
cover on approach Lo Lhe Pambura alrporLŦ Cold november ralns drenched Lhe earLh and lenL evervLhlna
Lhe aloomv alr of a llemlsh landscapeť Lhe around crew ln raln aearţ a flaa aLop a squaL alrporL bulldlnaţ
a 8MW blllboardŦ SoŶCermanv aaalnŦ
Cnce Lhe plane was on Lhe aroundţ sofL muslc beaan Lo flow from Lhe celllna speakersť a sweeL
orchesLral cover verslon of Lhe 8eaLles' ºnorwelaan WoodŦ" 1he melodv never falled Lo send a shudder
Lhrouah meţ buL Lhls Llme lL hlL me harder Lhan everŦ
l benL forward ln mv seaLţ face ln hands Lo keep mv skull from spllLLlna openŦ 8efore lona on of
Lhe Cerman sLewardess approached and asked me ln Lnallsh lf l were slckŦ ºnoţ" l saldţ º[usL dlzzvŦ"
ºAre vou sure?"
º?esţ l'm sureŦ 1hanksŦ"
She smlled and lefLţ and Lhe muslc chanaed Lo a 8lllv !oel LuneŦ l sLralahLened up and looked ouL
Lhe plane wlndow aL Lhe dark clouds hanalna over Lhe norLh Seaţ Lhlnklna of whaL had l losL ln Lhe
course of mv llfeť Llme aoes foreverţ frlend who had dled and dlsappearedţ feellnas l would never know
1he plane reached Lhe aaLeŦ Þeople beaan unlaLchlna Lhelr seaLbelLs and pulllna baaaaae from
Lhe sLoraae blnsţ and all Lhe whlle l was ln Lhe meadowŦ l could smell Lhe arassţ feel Lhe wlnd on mv faceţ
hear Lhe crles of Lhe blrdsŦ AuLumn 1969ţ and soon l would be LwenLvŦ
1he sLewardess came Lo check on me aaalnŦ 1hls Llme she saL nexL Lo me and asked lf l was
ºl'm flneţ Lhanks" l sald wlLh a smlleŦ º!usL feellna klnd of blueŦ"
ºl know whaL vou meanţ" she saldŦ ºlL happens Lo meţ Looţ everv once ln a whlleŦ"
She sLood and aave me a lovelv smlleŦ ºWellţ have a nlce LrlpŦ Aof wleJetsebeoŦ´
LlCP1LLn ?LA8S PAIL CCnL 8?ţ and sLlll l can brlna back everv deLall of LhaL dav ln Lhe meadowŦ
Washed clean of summer's dusL bv davs of aenLle ralnţ Lhe mounLaln wore a deepţ brllllanL areenŦ 1he
CcLober breeze seL whlLe fronds of headŴLall arasses swavlnaŦ Cne lona sLreak of cloud huna pasLed
across Lhe dome of frozen blueŦ lL almosL hurL Lo look aL LhaL farŴoff skvŦ A puff of wlnd swepL across Lhe
meadow and Lhrouah her halr before lL sllpped lnLo Lhe woods Lo rusLle branches and send back
snaLches of dlsLanL barklna Ŷ a hazv sound LhaL seemed Lo reach us from Lhe doorwav Lo anoLher worldŦ
We heard no oLher soundsŦ We meL no oLher peopleŦ We saw onlv Lwo brlahLţ red blrds leap sLarLled
from Lhe cenLer of Lhe meadows and darL lnLo Lhe woodsŦ As we ambled alonaţ naoko spoke Lo me of
Memorv ls a funnv LhlnaŦ When l was ln Lhe sceneţ l hardlv pald lL anv mlndŦ l never sLopped Lo
Lhlnk of lL as someLhlna LhaL would make a lasLlna lmpresslonţ cerLalnlv never lmaalned LhaL elahLeen
vears laLer l would recall lL ln such a deLallŦ l dldn'L alve a damn abouL Lhe scenerv LhaL davŦ l was
Lhlnklna abouL mvselfŦ l was Lhlnklna abouL Lhe beauLlful alrl walklna nexL Lo meŦ l was Lhlnklna abouL
Lhe Lwo of us LoaeLherţ and Lhen abouL mvself aaalnŦ lL was Lhe aaeţ LhaL Llme of llfe when everv slahLţ
everv feellnaţ everv Lhouah came backţ llke a boomerana Lo meŦ And worseţ l was ln loveŦ Love wlLh
compllcaLlonsŦ Scenerv was Lhe lasL Lhlna on mv mlndŦ
nowţ Lhouahţ Lhe meadow scene ls Lhe flrsL Lhlna LhaL comes back Lo meŦ 1he smell of Lhe arassţ
Lhe falnL chlll of Lhe wlndţ Lhe llne of Lhe hlllsţ Lhe barklna of a doať Lhese are Lhe flrsL Lhlnasţ and Lhev
come wlLh absoluLe clarlLvŦ l feel as lf l can reach ouL and Lrace Lhem wlLh a flnaerLlpŦ And veL as clear as
Lhe scene mav beţ no one ls ln lLŦ no oneŦ naoko ls noL Lhereţ and nelLher am lŦ Where could we have
dlsappeared Lo? Pow could such a Lhlna have happened? LvervLhlna LhaL seemed so lmporLanL back
Lhen Ŷ naokoţ and Lhe self l was Lhenţ and Lhe world l had Lhenť where could Lhev have all aone? lL's
Lrueţ l can'L even brlna back naoko's face Ŷ noL rlahL awavţ aL leasLŦ All l'm lefL holdlna ls a backaroundţ
sheer scenervţ wlLh no people up fronLŦ
1rueţ alven Llme enouahţ l can brlna back her faceŦ l sLarL [olnlna lmaaes Ŷ her Llnvţ cold handŤ
her sLralahLţ black halrţ so smooLh and cool Lo Lhe LouchŤ a sofLţ rounded earlobe and Lhe mlcroscoplc
mole [usL beneaLh lLŤ Lhe camel's halr coaL she wore ln Lhe wlnLerŤ her hobbv of looklna sLralahL lnLo
vour eves when asklna a quesLlonŤ Lhe sllahL Lrembllna LhaL would come Lo her volce now and Lhen (as lf
she were speaklna on a wlndv hlllLop) Ŷ and suddenlv her face ls Lhereţ alwavs ln proflle aL flrsLţ because
naoko and l were alwavs walklna ouL LoaeLherţ slde bv sldeŦ 1hen she Lurns Lo meţ and smllesţ and LllLs
her head [usL a blLţ and bealns Lo speakţ she looks lnLo mv eves as lf Lrvlna Lo caLch Lhe lmaae of a
mlnnow LhaL has darLed across Lhe pool of a llmpld sprlnaŦ
l do need Lhe Llmeţ Lhouah for naoko's face Lo appearŦ And as Lhe vears have passedţ Lhe Llme
has arown lonaerŦ 1he sad LruLh ls whaL l could recall ln flve seconds all Loo soon needed Lenţ Lhen
LhlrLvţ Lhen a full mlnuLe Ŷ llke shadows llahLenlna aL duskŦ Somedavţ l supposeţ Lhe shadows would be
swallowed up ln darknessŦ 1here ls no wav around lLť mv memorv ls arowlna ever more dlsLanL from Lhe
spoL where naoko used Lo sLand Ŷ ever more dlsLanL from Lhe spoL where mv old self used Lo sLandŦ And
noLhlna buL scenervţ LhaL vlew of Lhe meadow ln CcLoberţ reLurns aaaln and aaaln Lo me llke a svmbollc
scene ln a movleŦ Lach Llme lL appearsţ lL dellvers a klck Lo some parL of mv mlndŦ ºWake upţ" lL savsŦ
ºl'm sLlll hereŦ Wake up and Lhlnk abouL lLŦ 1hlnk abouL whv l'm sLlll hereŦ" 1he klcklna never hurLs meŦ
1here's no paln aL allŦ !usL a hollow sound LhaL echoes wlLh each klckŦ And even LhaL ls bound Lo fade
one davŦ AL Lhe Pambura alrporLţ Lhouahţ Lhe klcks were lonaer and harder Lhan usualŦ Whlch ls whv l
am wrlLlna Lhls bookŦ 1o LhlnkŦ 1o undersLandŦ lL [usL happens Lo be Lhe wav l'm madeŦ l have Lo wrlLe
Lhlnas down Lo feel l fullv comprehend LhemŦ
LL1'S SLLţ nowţ whaL was naoko Lalklna abouL LhaL dav?
Cf courseť Lhe ºfleld wellŦ" l have no ldea wheLher such a well ever exlsLedŦ lL mlahL have been
an lmaae or a slan LhaL exlsLed onlv lnslde naokoţ llke all Lhe oLher Lhlnas she used Lo spln lnLo exlsLence
lnslde her mlnd ln Lhose dark davsŦ Cnce she had descrlbed lL Lo meţ Lhouahţ l was never able Lo Lhlnk of
LhaL meadow scene wlLhouL Lhe wellŦ lrom LhaL dav forwardţ Lhe lmaae of a Lhlna l had never lald eves
on because lnseparablv fused Lo Lhe acLual scene of Lhe fleld LhaL lav before meŦ l can ao so far as Lo
descrlbe Lhe well ln mlnuLe deLallŦ lL lav preclselv on Lhe border where Lhe meadow ended and Lhe
woods beaan Ŵ a dark openlna ln Lhe earLh a vard acrossţ hldden bv Lhe meadow arassŦ noLhlna marked
lLs perlmeLer Ŷ no fenceţ no sLone curb (aL leasL noL one LhaL rose above Lhe around level)Ŧ lL was
noLhlna buL a holeţ a mouLh open wldeŦ 1he sLone of lLs collar had been weaLhered and Lurned a sLranae
muddv whlLeŦ 1hev were cracked and had chunks mlsslna and a llLLle areen llzard sllLhered lnLo an open
seamŦ ?ou could lean over Lhe edae and peer down Lo see noLhlnaŦ All l knew abouL Lhe well was lLs
frlahLenlna depLŦ lL was deep bevond measurlnaţ and crammed full of darknessţ as lf all Lhe world's
darkness had been bolled down Lo Lhelr ulLlmaLe denslLvŦ
ºlL's reallvţ teollv deepţ" sald naokoţ chooslna her words wlLh careŦ She would speak LhaL wav
someLlmesţ slowlna down Lo flnd Lhe exacL word she was looklna for º8uL no one know where lL lsţ" she
conLlnuedŦ º1he one Lhlna l know for sure ls LhaL lL's around here somewhereŦ"
Pands LhrusL lnLo Lhe pockeLs of her Lweed [ackeLţ she smlled aL me as lf Lo sav ºlL's Lrue!"
º1hen lL musL be lncredlblv danaerousţ" l saldŦ ºA deep wellţ buL nobodv knows where lL lsŦ ?ou
could fall ln and LhaL'd be Lhe end of vouŦ"
º1he endŦ Aaaaaaaahţ splaLŦ llnlshedŦ"
º1hlnas llke LhaL musL acLuallv happenŦ"
º1hev doţ everv once ln a whlleŦ Mavbe ln Lwo or Lhree vearsŦ Somebodv dlsappears all of a
suddenţ and Lhev [usL can'L flnd hlmŦ So Lhen Lhe people would savţ 'Ch ţ he fell ln Lhe fleld wellŦ'"
ºnoL a nlce wav Lo dleţ" l saldŦ
ºnoţ lL's a Lerrlble wav Lo dleţ" sald naokoţ brushlna a clusLer of arass seed from her [ackeLŦ º1he
besL Lhlna would be Lo break vour neckţ buL vou'd probablv [usL break vour lea and Lhen vou couldn'L do
a LhlnaŦ ?ou'd vell aL Lhe Lop of vour lunasţ buL nobodv'd hear vouţ and vou couldn'L expecL anvbodv Lo
flnd vouţ and vou'd have cenLlpedes and splders crawllna all over vouţ and Lhe bones of Lhe ones who
dled before are scaLLered all around vouţ and lL's dark and soaavţ and wav overhead Lhere's Lhls Llnvţ
Llnv clrcle of llahL llke a wlnLer moonŦ ?ou dle Lhere ln Lhls placeţ llLLle bv llLLleţ all bv vourselfŦ"
º?uckţ [usL Lhlnklna abouL lL makes mv flesh creepţ" l saldŦ ºSomebodv should flnd Lhe Lhlna and
bulld a wall around lLŦ"
º8uL nobodv can flnd lLŦ So make sure vou don'L ao off Lhe paLhŦ"
ºuon'L worrvţ l won'L"
naoko Look her lefL hand from her pockeL and squeezed mv handŦ ºuon'L voo worrvţ" she saldŦ
º?ou'll be CŦkŦ ?ou could ao runnlna all around here ln Lhe mlddle of Lhe nlahL and vou'd never fall lnLo
Lhe wellŦ And as lona as l sLlck wlLh vouţ l won'L fall ln elLherŦ"
ºPow can vou be so sure?"
ºl [usL knowţ" she saldŦ lncreaslna her arlp on mv hand and conLlnulna on for wavs ln sllenceŦ ºl
know Lhese LhlnasŦ l'm alwavs rlahLŦ lL's aoL noLhlna Lo do wlLh loalcť l [usL feel lLŦ lor exampleţ when l'm
reallv close Lo vou llke Lhlsţ l'm noL Lhe leasL blL scaredŦ noLhlna dark or evll could ever LempL meŦ"
ºWellţ LhaL answers LhaLţ" l saldŦ ºAll vou have Lo do ls sLav wlLh me llke Lhls all Lhe LlmeŦ"
ºuo vou mean LhaL?"
ºCf course l mean lLŦ"
naoko sLopped shorLŦ So dld lŦ She puL her hands on mv shoulders and peered lnLo mv evesŦ
ueep wlLhln her own puplls a heavvţ black llquld swlrled ln a sLranae whlrlpool paLLernŦ 1hose beauLlful
eves of hers were looklna lnslde me for a lonaţ lona LlmeŦ 1hen she sLreLched Lo her full helahL and
Louched her cheek Lo mlneŦ lL was a marvelousţ warm aesLure LhaL sLopped mv hearL for a momenLŦ
º1hank vou"ţ she saldŦ
ºMv pleasureţ" l answeredŦ
º8uL l'm so happv vou sald LhaLŦ 8eallv happvţ" she sald wlLh a sad smlleŦ º8uL lL's lmposslbleŦ"
ºlL would be wronaŦ lL would be LerrlbleŦ lL Ŷ º
naoko clamped her mouLh shuL and sLarLed walklna aaalnŦ l could Lell LhaL all klnds of LhouahL
were whlrllna around ln her headţ so raLher LhaL lnLrude on Lhem l kepL sllenL and walked bv her sldeŦ
ºlL would be [usL wrona Ŷ wrona for vouţ wrona for meţ" she sald afLer a lona pauseŦ
ºWrona how?" l murmuredŦ
ºuon'L vou see? lL's [usL noL posslble for one person Lo waLch over anoLher person for ever and
everŦ l meanţ sav we aoL marrledŦ ?ou'd have Lo ao Lo work durlna Lhe davŦ Who's aolna Lo waLch over
me when vou're awav? Cr sav vou have Lo ao on a buslness Lrlpţ who's aolna Lo waLch over me Lhen?
Can l be alued Lo vou everv mlnuLe of our llves? WhaL klnd of equallLv would Lhere be ln LhaL? WhaL klnd
of relaLlonshlp would LhaL be? Sooner or laLer vou'll aeL slck of meŦ ?ou'd wonder whaL vou are dolna
wlLh vour llfeţ whv vou were spendlna all vour Llme babvslLLlna Lhe womanŦ l couldn'L sLand LhaLŦ lL
wouldn'L resolve anv of mv problemsŦ"
º8uL vour problems are noL aolna Lo conLlnue for Lhe resL of vour llfeţ" l saldţ Louchlna her backŦ
º1hev'll end evenLuallvŦ And when Lhev doţ we'll sLop and Lhlnk abouL how Lo ao on from LhereŦ Mavbe
vou wlll have Lo help meŦ uon'L vou see? Whv do vou have Lo be so rlahL? 8elaxţ leL vour auard downŦ
?ou're all Lensed up so vou alwavs expecL Lhe worsLŦ 8elax vour bodvţ and Lhe resL of vou wlll llahLen
ºPow can vou sav LhaL?|" she asked ln a volce dralned of feellnaŦ
naoko's volce alerLed me Lo Lhe posslblllLv LhaL l had sald someLhlna l shouldn'L haveŦ
º1ell me how vou could sav such a Lhlnaţ" she saldţ sLarlna down aL Lhe around beneaLh her feeLŦ
º?ou're noL Lelllna me anvLhlna l don'L know alreadvŦ '8elax vour bodvţ and Lhe resL of vou wlll llahLen
upŦ' WhaL's Lhe polnL of savlna LhaL Lo me? lf l relaxed mv bodv nowţ l'd fall aparLŦ l've alwavs llved llke
Lhlsţ and lL's Lhe onlv wav l know how Lo ao on llvlnaŦ lf l relaxed for a secondţ l'd never flnd mv wav
backŦ l'd ao Lo plecesţ and Lhe pleces would be blown awavŦ Whv can'L vou see LhaL? Pow can vou Lalk
waLchlna over me lf vou can'L see LhaL?"
l sald noLhlna ln reLurnŦ
ºl'm confusedŦ 8eallv confusedŦ And lL's a loL deeper Lhan vou LhlnkŦ ueeperŧ darkerŧ colderŦ
8uL Lell me someLhlnaŦ Pow could vou have slepL wlLh me LhaL Llme? Pow could vou have done such a
Lhlna? Whv dldn'L vou [usL leave me alone?"
now we were walklna Lhrouah Lhe frlahLful sllence of a plne woodŦ 1he deslccaLed corpses of
clcadas LhaL had dled aL Lhe end of summer llLLered Lhe surface of Lhe paLhţ crunchlna beneaLh our
shoesŦ As lf searchlna for someone we'd losLţ naoko and l conLlnued slowlv down Lhe paLh ln Lhe woodsŦ
ºl'm sorrvţ" she saldţ Laklna mv arm and shaklna her headŦ ºl dldn'L mean Lo hurL vouŦ 1rv noL Lo
leL whaL l sald boLher vouŦ 8eallvţ l'm sorrvŦ l was [usL anarv aL mvselfŦ
ºl auess l don'L reallv undersLand vou veLţ" l saldŦ ºl'm noL aL all smarLŦ lL Lakes me a whlle Lo
undersLand LhlnasŦ 8uL lf l do have Lhe Llmeţ l wlll come Lo undersLand vou Ŷ beLLer Lhan anvone else ln
Lhe world ever canŦ"
We came Lo a sLop and sLood ln Lhe sllenL woodsţ llsLenlnaŦ l Lumbled plnecones and clcada
shells wlLh Lhe Loe of mv shoeţ Lhen looked up aL Lhe paLches of skv showlna Lhrouah Lhe plne branchesŦ
Pands LhrusL ln her [ackeL pockeLsţ naoko sLood Lhere Lhlnklnaţ her eves focused on noLhlna ln
º1ell me someLhlnaţ 1oruţ" she saldŦ ºuo vou love me?"
º?ou know l doţ" l answeredŦ
ºWlll vou do me Lwo favors?"
º?ou mav have up Lo Lhree wlshesţ madameŦ"
naoko smlled and shook her headŦ ºnoţ Lwo would be enouahŦ Cne ls for vou Lo reallze how
araLeful l am LhaL vou came Lo see me hereŦ l hope vou'll undersLand how happv vou've made meŦ l
know lL's aolna Lo save me lf anvLhlna wlllŦ l mav noL show lLţ buL lL's LrueŦ"
ºl'll come Lo see vou aaalnţ" l SaldŦ ºAnd whaL ls Lhe oLher wlsh?"
ºl wanL vou Lo alwavs remember meŦ Wlll vou remember LhaL l exlsLedţ and LhaL l sLood nexL Lo
vou here llke Lhls?"
ºAlwavsţ" l saldŦ ºl'll alwavs rememberŦ"
She walked on ahead wlLhouL speaklnaŦ 1he auLumn llahL fllLerlna Lhrouah Lhe branches danced
over Lhe shoulder of her [ackeLŦ A doa barked aaalnţ closer Lhan beforeŦ naoko cllmbed a small mound of
a hlllţ sLepped ouL of Lhe plne woodţ and hurrled down a aenLle slopeŦ l followed Lwo or Lhree sLeps
ºCome over hereţ" l called Loward her backŦ º1he well mlahL be around here somewhereŦ"
naoko sLopped and smlled and Look mv armŦ We walked Lhe resL of Lhe wav slde bv sldeŦ
ºuo vou reallv promlse never Lo foraeL me?" She asked ln a near whlsperŦ
ºl'll never foraeL vouţ" l saldŦ ºl could never foraeL vouŦ"
LILn SCţ mv memorv has arown lncreaslnalv dlsLanLţ and l have alreadv foraoLLen anv number
of LhlnasŦ WrlLlna from memorv llke Lhlsţ l ofLen feel a pana of dreadŦ WhaL lf l've foraoLLen Lhe mosL
lmporLanL Lhlna? WhaL lf somewhere lnslde me Lhere ls a dark llmbo where all Lhe Lrulv lmporLanL
memorles are heaped and slowlv Lurnlna lnLo mud?
8e LhaL as lL mavţ lL's all l have Lo work wlLhŦ CluLchlna Lhls fadedţ fadlnaţ lmperfecL memorles Lo
mv breasLţ l ao on wrlLlna Lhls book wlLh all Lhe desperaLe lnLenslLv of a sLarvlna man sucklna on bonesŦ
1hls ls Lhe onlv wav l know Lo keep mv promlse Lo naokoŦ
Cnce lona aaoţ when l was sLlll vouţ when Lhe memorles were far more vlvld Lhan Lhev are nowţ
l ofLen Lrled Lo wrlLe abouL naokoŦ 8uL l was never able Lo produce a llneŦ l knew LhaL lf LhaL flrsL llne
would comeţ Lhe resL would pour lLself lnLo paaeţ buL l could never make lL happenŦ LvervLhlna was Loo
sharp and clearţ so LhaL l could never Lell where Lo sLarL Ŷ Lhe wav a map LhaL shows Loo much can
someLlmes be uselessŦ nowţ Lhouahţ l reallze LhaL all l can place ln Lhe lmperfecL vessel of wrlLlna are
lmperfecL memorles and lmperfecL LhouahLsŦ 1he more memorles of naoko lnslde me fadeţ Lhe more
deeplv l am able Lo undersLand herŦ l knowţ Looţ whv she asked me noL Lo foraeL herŦ naoko herself
knewţ of courseŦ She knew LhaL mv memorles of her would fadeŦ Whlch ls preclselv she beaaed me
never Lo foraeL herţ Lo remember LhaL she had exlsLedŦ
1he LhouahL fllls me wlLh an almosL unbearable sorrowŦ 8ecause naoko never loved meŦ
CnCL uÞCn A 1lMLţ MAn? ?LA8S ACC Ŷ !uS1 1WLn1? ?LA8S ACCţ ln facL Ŷ l was llvlna ln a dormlLorvŦ
l was elahLeen and a freshmanŦ l was new Lo 1okvo and new Lo llvlna aloneţ and so mv anxlous parenLs
found a prlvaLe dorm for me Lo llve ln raLher Lhan Lhe klnd of slnale room LhaL mosL sLudenLs LookŦ 1he
dormlLorv provlded meals and varlous faclllLles and would probablv help Lhelr unworldlv elahLeenŴvearŴ
old Lo survlveŦ Lxpenses were also a conslderaLlonŦ A dorm cosL so far less LhaL a prlvaLe roomŦ As lona
as l had beddlna and a lampţ Lhere was no need Lo buv a loL of furnlshlnasŦ lor mv parLţ l would have
preferred Lo renL an aparLmenL and llve and llve ln comforLable sollLudeţ buL knowlna whaL mv parenLs
had Lo spend on maLrlculaLlon fees and LulLlon aL Lhe prlvaLe unlverslLv l was aLLendlnaţ l was ln no
poslLlon Lo lnslsLŦ And besldesţ l reallv dldn'L care where l llvedŦ
LocaLed on a hlll wlLh open vlews ln Lhe mlddle of Lhe clLvţ Lhe dormlLorv compound saL on a
larae quadranale surrounded bv a concreLe wallŦ A huaeţ Lowerlna zelkova Lree sLood [usL lnslde Lhe
fronL aaLeŦ Þeople sald lL was aL leasL a hundred and flfLv vears oldŦ SLandlna aL lLs baseţ vou could look
up and see noLhlna of Lhe skv Lhrouah lLs dense cover of areen leavesŦ
1he paved road leadlna from Lhe aaLe curved around Lhe Lree and conLlnued on lona and
sLralahL across a broad quadranaleţ Lwo LhreeŴsLorv concreLe dorm bulldlnas faclna each oLher on elLher
slde of Lhe roadŦ 1hese were larae bulldlnas wlLh loLs of wlndowsţ and Lhev aave Lhe lmpresslon of belna
elLher aparLmenL houses LhaL had been converLed lnLo [alls or [alls LhaL had been converLed lnLo
aparLmenL housesŦ 1here was noLhlna dlrLv abouL Lhemţ howeverţ nor dld Lhev feel darkŦ ?ou could hear
radlos plavlna Lhrouah open wlndowsţ all of whlch had Lhe same creamŴcolored curLalns LhaL could noL
be faded bv Lhe sunŦ
8evond Lhe Lwo dormlLorlesţ Lhe road led up Lo Lhe enLrance of a LwoŴsLorv common bulldlnaţ
Lhe flrsL floor whlch conLalned a dlnlna hall and baLh faclllLvţ Lhe second conslsLlna of an audlLorlumţ
meeLlna roomsţ and even auesL roomsţ whose use l could never faLhomŦ nexL Lo Lhe common bulldlna
sLood a Lhlrd dormlLorvţ also LhreeŴsLorled hlahŦ 8road areen lawns fllled Lhe quadranaleţ and clrculaLlna
sprlnklers cauahL Lhe sunllahL as Lhev LurnedŦ 8ehlnd Lhe common bulldlna Lhere was a fleld used for
baseball and soccerţ and slx Lennls courLsŦ 1he complex had evervLhlna vou could wanLŦ
1here was [usL one problem wlLh Lhe placeť lLs pollLlcal smellŦ 1he complex was run bv some
klnd of flshv foundaLlon LhaL cenLered on some klnd of exLreme rlahLŴwlna auvţ and Lhere was
someLhlna sLranaelv LwlsLed Ŷ as far as l was concerned Ŵ abouL Lhe wav Lhev run Lhe placeŦ ?ou could
see lL ln Lhe pamphleL Lhev aave Lo new sLudenLs and ln Lhe dorm rulesŦ 1he proclalmed ºfoundlna
splrlL" of Lhe dormlLorv was Lo ºsLrlve Lo nurLure human resources of servlce Lo Lhe naLlon Lhrouah Lhe
ulLlmaLe ln educaLlonal fundamenLalsţ" and manv flnanclal leaders who endorsed Lhls ºsplrlL" had
conLrlbuLed Lhelr prlvaLe funds Lo Lhe consLrucLlon of Lhe faclllLvŦ 1hls was Lhe publlc face of Lhe pro[ecLţ
Lhouah whaL lav behlnd lL was vaaue ln Lhe exLremeŦ Some sald lL was a Lax dodaeţ whlle oLhers saw lL as
publlclLv sLunL for Lhe conLrlbuLorsţ and sLlll oLhers clalmed LhaL Lhe consLrucLlon of Lhe dormlLorv was a
cover for swlndllna Lhe publlc ouL of a prlme plece of esLaLeŦ Cne Lhlna was cerLalnţ Lhouahť ln Lhe dorm
complex Lhere exlsLed a prlvlleaed club composed of ellLe sLudenLs from varlous unlverslLlesŦ 1hev
formed ºsLudv aroups" LhaL meL several Llmes a monLh and LhaL lncluded some of Lhe foundersŦ Anv
member of Lhe club could be assured of a aood [ob upon araduaLlonŦ l had no ldea whlch Ŷ lf anv Ŷ of
Lhese Lheorles was correcLţ buL all shared Lhe assumpLlon LhaL Lhere was ºsomeLhlna flshv" abouL Lhe
ln anv caseţ l spenL Lwo vears Ŷ from Lhe sprlna of 1968 Lo Lhe sprlna of 1970 Ŷ llvlna ln Lhls
ºflshv" dormlLorvŦ Whv l puL wlLh lL so lonaţ l can'L reallv savŦ ln Lerms of evervdav llfeţ lL made no
pracLlcal dlfferences Lo me wheLher Lhe place was rlahL wlna or lefL wlna or anvLhlna elseŦ
Lach dav aL Lhe complex beaan wlLh Lhe solemn ralslna of Lhe flaaŦ 1hev plaved Lhe naLlonal
anLhemţ Looţ of courseŦ ?ou can'L have one wlLhouL Lhe oLherŦ 1he flaapole sLood ln Lhe verv cenLer of
Lhe compoundţ where lL was vlslble from everv wlndow of all Lhree dormlLorlesŦ
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