by Haruki Murakami
Translated by Christopher Allison
This is something that actually happened several years ago. I have
altered the names on account of certain circumstances, but other
than that it's entirely true.
I lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts for about 2 years. At that time,
I got to know this architect--a handsome guy, just past fifty, about
half of his hair was white. He wasn't very tall. He enjoyed swimming
a lot, swam everyday, and consequently was in very good shape. He
played tennis once in a while as well. As for his name--let's call
him Casey. He was single, and lived in this old mansion in
Lexington, a suburb of Boston, together with an extremely reticent,
sallow-faced piano tuner. His name was Jeremy: probably
mid-thirties, tall, slender as a willow, hair thinning a little. In
addition to being a piano tuner he also played tolerably.
A few of my stories had been translated into English, and then had
appeared in a magazine. Casey had read these and sent me a letter
through my publisher.
"I'm very interested in your work, and curious what kind of person
you are," he wrote. I don't usually meet people who send me fan mail
(in my experience, these kinds of meetings are never very fun or
interesting), but I thought that meeting this guy Casey would
probably be OK. His letter was really interesting, and imbued with a
his rich sense of humor. I also had the optimism that comes with
living overseas. We lived quite close to each other. Still, all of
these circumstances didn't match up to one other, peripheral reason.
The single biggest reason I wanted to meet this guy Casey was that
he was the owner of a magnificent collection of old jazz records.
"If you searched the whole country over, you probably wouldn't find
a single private collection that is so complete. I understand that
you like jazz a lot, or are at least interested in it," he wrote.
Just so. I am certainly interested in it. After reading his letter,
I wanted to see this record collection so badly I couldn't stand it.
When I get ensnared by a collection of old jazz records, all my
psychological powers of resistance disappear, like a horse bewitched
by the scent of some special tree.
Casey's house was in Lexington. That's about 30 minutes by car from
where I lived. When I called him, he faxed me a detailed map with
directions. One afternoon in April, I got in my green Volkswagen and
drove to his house alone. I quickly picked it out. It's was a huge,
old three-story house. It had probably been standing there for at
least 100 years. Even in Boston's swank residential neighborhoods,
where stately mansions stand side-by-side and all have long
histories, this splendid house particularly stuck out. It was good
enough for a postcard.
The garden was like a vast forest, and blue jays jumped from branch
to branch, raising their sharp, merry voices all the while. There
was a new BMW parked in the driveway. When I parked the car behind
the BMW, a large mastiff who had been sleeping on the welcome mat on
the front porch slowly got to his feet and barked dutifully two or
three times. His bark seemed to suggest "It's not that I really want
to bark, so I'll do it sort of halfway."
Casey came out and shook my hand. He had a firm handshake that
seemed to confirm something. While he was shaking my hand, he patted
my shoulder gently with his other hand. This was a frequent
mannerism of his. "Hi. I'm glad you came. It's really nice to meet
you," he said. He was wearing a fashionable white Italian shirt
buttoned all the way to the top, a light brown cashmere cardigan,
and soft cotton pants. He also had on a pair of small Georgio
Armani-style glasses. All very smart.
Casey took me inside, sat me down on a sofa in the living room, and
brought out a freshly-made pot of excellent coffee.
Casey wasn't overly forward; he'd had a good upbringing and was
well-educated. Having traveled all over the world when he was young,
he was a great conversationalist. We got to be good friends, and I
went over to his house to hang out about once a month. And he shared
the blessing of that splendid record collection with me. When I was
there, I was able to listen to incredibly rare and valuable music as
much as I liked, which I otherwise never would have heard. Compared
to that record collection, the stereo system wasn't so great, but
the old vacuum-tube amp produced a warm, nostalgic sound.
Casey used the house's study as his office, and drew up building
plans on a big computer there. But he didn't tell me very much about
his work. "It's not particularly important," he said with a laugh,
as if making an excuse. I have no idea what kind of buildings he
designed. He never appeared to be particularly busy. The Casey I
knew was always sitting on the sofa in the living room, his wine
glass tilted elegantly, reading a book or straining to hear Jeremy's
piano. Or perhaps sitting in his garden chair playing with the dog.
It's just a feeling I have, but I think that he didn't work that
His deceased father had been a nationally famous psychologist, and
had written five or six books, all of which were well on their way
to becoming classics. Also a devoted jazz fan, he was a close friend
of Prestige Records founder and producer Bob Weinstock, and on
account of that his collection of jazz vinyl from the 1940's to the
1960's was, as Casey 's letter had said, astonishingly complete.
While it's sheer volume was particularly impressive, one couldn't
complain about the outstanding quality of the records either. Almost
all the records were first editions and in perfect condition.
Neither the jackets nor the disks themselves had the slightest
blemish. It was very close to miraculous. Casey took great care with
their preservation, and he handled each one as if he were bathing an
Casey had no siblings, and his mother died when he was young. His
father had never remarried. Hence, when his father had succumbed to
pancreatic cancer 15 years before, he alone had inherited the house
and all it's various heirlooms, including the complete record
collection. Because Casey respected his father more than anyone, and
loved him too, he didn't get rid of a single record, and preserved
the whole collection with great care, just as it was. Casey liked to
listen to jazz, but he wasn't as ardent a fan as his father. He
really preferred classical music, and whenever Seiji Ozawa was
conducting the Boston Symphony, he and Jeremy never failed to
After I had known him for about a year, Casey asked me to take care
of his house while we was away. Although it happened very rarely, he
had to go to London for about a week on business. When Casey went
away on trips, Jeremy usually looked after the house, but this time
he couldn't. Jeremy's mother, who lived in West Virginia, was in
declining health, and a short time before he had gone back home. So
Casey called me.
"Sorry to do this to you, but I couldn't think of anyone else," he
said. "And while I say ‘house-sitter,' aside from giving Miles (that
was the dog's name) his food twice a day, there's not really
anything else to do. You can listen to whatever records you like.
And there's plenty of food and drink, so help yourself."
It didn't sound like a bad proposition. I was living alone at that
time on account of certain circumstances, and the house next to my
apartment in Cambridge was under construction, so there was an
unbearable racket everyday. I got some extra clothes, my MacIntosh
Powerbook, and a couple of books and went to Casey's house early in
the afternoon one Friday. Casey had just finished packing and was
about to call a taxi.
Have a good time in London, I said
"Yeah, of course," Casey said smiling. "Enjoy the house and the
records. It's not a bad place."
After Casey had gone, I went to the kitchen and fixed a cup of
coffee. Then I set up my computer on a table in the music room,
which adjoined the living room and, listening to some of the records
Casey's father had left behind, I worked for about an hour. It
seemed like I should be able to get a lot of work done during the
The desk, a huge mahogany affair, had drawers on either side. It was
from quite an ancient time. It was by far the oldest thing in the
room, and beside anything from a different era, like the MacIntosh I
had brought with me, it seemed as if it had remained there unmoved
for an unimaginably long period of time. After his father had died,
Casey hadn't added so much as a postage stamp to the music room--it
was as if he regarded it as some holy shrine or reliquary. While the
whole house was prone to dust on account of it's age, in the music
room it was as if the flow of time had stopped until moments before.
It was in perfect order. There wasn't a speck of dust on the
shelves, and the desk was polished to sparkling.
Miles came in and lay down at my feet. I patted his head a few
times. He was a terribly lonely dog, and couldn't stand to be alone
for very long. He'd been trained to sleep on his own bed in the
kitchen, but the rest of the time he was always at someone's side,
unaffectedly attaching himself to some part of his companion's body.
The living room and the music room were separated by a high
door-less doorway. In the living room there was a large brick
fireplace, and a very comfortable three-person leather sofa. There
were four mismatched arm-chairs, and three coffee tables, also all
distinct. A fancy, but now somewhat faded, Persian carpet had been
laid on the floor, and from the high ceiling dangled a chandelier of
ancient origin. I went in and sat down on the sofa, taking in my
surroundings. The clock above the fireplace chopped up the minutes
with a tick-tock that sounded like someone smashing a window on
The tall wooden bookshelves against the wall were lined art books
and volumes on all sorts of specialties. A couple of oil paintings
of some unknown coastline hung on three walls, kind of haphazardly.
The general impression created by this scenery was somehow fitting.
No human form could be seen in any of these pictures, just lonely
sea-scapes. They looked as though, if you brought your ear up close
enough, you'd be able to hear the sound of the chill wind and the
rough seas. Splendid pieces, all, but not a one that particularly
stood out. There wafted from each one the smell of moderate, New
England-style, but still quite detached, Old Money.
The record shelf was against one broad wall of the music room, and
all of those old records were lined up neatly, in alphabetical order
according to the performers' names. Even Casey didn't know exactly
how many there were. It's probably around six or seven thousand, he
had said. But there are the same number again, packed in cardboard
boxes and stored in the attic. "I wouldn't be surprised if the whole
place sank into the ground someday on account of the weight of all
those old records, like the House of Usher."
I set an old Lee Connitz 10" on the turntable, and as I sat at the
desk writing, time passed comfortably and tranquilly. I had a very
pleasant sensation, like I had buried myself in a perfectly-fitting
mould. As time passed, I felt like I developed a special,
carefully-constructed intimacy with this room. The reverberation of
the music permeated everything: every nook of the room, every tiny
cavity in the walls, right down to the creases in the curtains.
That evening I opened a bottle of Montepulciano that Casey had left
specially for me, poured it into a crystal wine glass, and drank
several glasses, sitting on the sofa reading a new-release novel I
had just bought. Even disregarding Casey's recommendation, the wine
was great. I got a wedge of Brie out of the refrigerator and ate
about a quarter of it with crackers. All the while, it was quiet as
a mouse. Apart from the tick-tock of the aforementioned clock, the
only sound that could be heard was the occasional car passing on the
street out front. The street closest to the house was just a
cul-de-sac, though, so traffic was limited just to people in the
neighborhood. When evening came, it dropped off to almost nothing.
Coming from Cambridge, with it's noisy student crowds, it felt like
I was at the bottom of the ocean. As per my usual, when the clock
struck 11 I began to feel a little tired. Putting the book aside, I
set my wine glass in the kitchen sink and said goodnight to Miles.
The dog curled up on top of his bed with resignation and, after a
slight groan, shut his eyes. I turned out the lights and went up to
the guest bedroom on the second floor. I changed into my pajamas and
was soon fast asleep.
When I woke up, I was in a formless void. I didn't know where I was.
For a little while I was senseless, like a wilted vegetable. Like a
vegetable that's forgotten and left forgotten in a dark cupboard for
a long time. At length I finally remembered that I was house-sitting
for Casey. Oh, yeah. I'm in Lexington. I fumbled around for the
wristwatch I had left on the pillow. When I pushed the button, the
time appeared with a blue glow. It was 1:15.
I quietly raised myself from the bed and turned on a small reading
lamp. It took me a minute to find the switch. The lamp was made of
polished glass in the shape of a lily, and produced a yellow light.
I rubbed my temples strongly with the palms of both hands, heaved a
big sigh, and looked around the inside of the brightened room. I
inspected the walls, gazed across the carpet, and looked up at the
ceiling. Then, like collecting beans that had spilled out on the
floor, I gathered up the fragments of my consciousness one-by-one,
and got reacquainted with the reality of my body. Gradually, I
became aware of something: there was a sound. A low rumble, like
waves crashing against the shore--that sound is what had roused me
from my deep sleep.
Someone is downstairs.
I tip-toed to the door and held my breath. Soon, I could hear the
sound of my own heartbeat. There was no mistaking that there was
someone in the house besides me. And it wasn't just one or two
people. A sound like music could also be faintly heard. I had no
idea why. A cold sweat began to trickle from my armpits. What in the
world had gone on while I was asleep?
The first thing that popped into my head was that this was some kind
of elaborate practical joke. Casey had only pretended to go to
London, but in reality had stayed behind, and had organized a party
in the middle of the night just to scare me. No matter how I thought
it about it though, I couldn't convince myself that Casey was the
type to play such a childish prank. His sense of humor was more
refined, more elegant.
Or perhaps--I thought, as I stood there still leaning on the
door--the people down there were acquaintances of Casey's whom I
didn't know. They knew that Casey was going out of town (but not
that I was house-sitting for him), and had decided to stop by his
house in his absence. At any rate, I was pretty sure that they
weren't burglars. When burglars break into someone's house, they
usually don't play their music so loud.
I took off my pajamas and picked up my pants. I put on my sneakers
and pulled a sweater over my T-shirt. But I was only one person. I
wanted something in my hands. Glancing around the room, nothing
suitable presented itself. There wasn't a baseball bat or a set of
fire tongs. The only things I could see were the bed, the dresser, a
small book shelf, and a framed picture.
When I went out into the hall, I could hear the noise more clearly.
The sound of cheerful old-time music floated up like steam into the
hallway from the bottom of the stairs. The melody was quite
familiar, but I couldn't remember the name of the tune.
I could hear voices, too. Since there were a lot of people's voices
mixed up together, I couldn't make out what they were talking about.
Occasionally there was a laugh. It was a pleasant, airy laugh. It
seemed like there was a party going on downstairs, and by the sound
of it, it was just getting good. As if coloring the whole scene, the
clinking of champagne glasses and wine glasses resounded merrily.
There were probably people dancing, too; I could hear what sounded
like the rhythmical creaking of leather on the wood floor.
I crept down the hallway to the landing of the staircase. Leaning
forward over the banister, I looked down. Light spilled out from the
high vertical window in the foyer, filling it with a queer, ghastly
light. There were no shadows. The doors that separated the living
room from the hall were shut tight. I know that I had left them open
when I went to bed. I am absolutely certain of that. There was no
alternative but that someone had shut them after I had gone upstairs
I was completely at a loss about what to do. One possibility was to
return to my second-floor bedroom and hide. Lock the door from the
inside, crawl into bed and... When I considered the matter calmly,
this seemed like the most prudent course of action. And yet,
standing at the top of the stairs, listening to the sounds of that
cheery music and laughter, it was something of a shock to realize
that it seemed to be growing quieter, like ripples on the surface of
a pond subsiding. Judging by that atmosphere, I surmised that
perhaps these were not an ordinary kind of people.
I took one long, deep breath and descended the stairs to the
entrance hall. The rubber soles of my sneakers silently passed from
one of those old wooden steps to the next. When I came to the foyer,
I immediately turned left and went into the kitchen. Turning on the
lights, I opened a drawer and retrieved a heavy meat cleaver. Casey
was a cooking enthusiast and had a set of expensive German-made
kitchen knives. The finely-polished stainless steel blade gleamed
voluptuous and true in my hand.
But when I tried to imagine myself walking into that rollicking
party gripping an enormous meat cleaver, I quickly realized that it
was a bad idea. I poured myself a glass of water from the tap and
returned the meat cleaver to the drawer.
What happened to the dog?
I realized for the first time that Miles was nowhere to be found. He
wasn't on his usual pillow on the floor. Where in the world could he
have gone? Wasn't it his job to bark or something if someone broke
into the house in the middle of the night? Bending over, I felt the
depression in the fur-covered pillow where he usually lay. No warmth
remained. It seemed he'd gotten out of his bed long before and gone
I left the kitchen, went out into the foyer, and sat down on a small
bench there. The music continued without a break and the
conversation continued as well. Like waves, they swelled up from
time to time, and then quieted down again, but they never stopped
altogether. How many people were in there? It seemed like there had
to be at least 15. Or maybe it was more like 20. At any rate, it
seemed like that big living room was pretty nearly filled.
I thought for a second about whether I should throw open the doors
and go in. That was a strange and difficult decision. I was the
caretaker of the house after all, and as such it's management was my
responsibility. On the other hand, I hadn't been invited .
I strained my ears to catch fragments of the conversation that crept
through the cracks in the door, but it was impossible. The
conversation blended into one monotonous whole, and I couldn't
distinguish any individual words. While I knew that there was a
conversation, it was like there was a thick plaster wall in front of
me. There was no room for me to enter there. I stuck my hand in my
pocket and pulled out a quarter. I twiddled it around in my fingers
absently. That silver coin's solidity and reality restored me to my
senses. Then something hit me, like a blow on the head from a fluffy
They were ghosts.
The folks assembled in the living room, listening to music and
amiably chatting away weren't real people. The air pressure changed
like a phase shift had taken place, and my ears were buzzing. I
tried to swallow, but my throat had gone dry and I couldn't. I put
the coin back in my pocket and looked around me. My heart began to
thump heavily in my chest.
It seemed very odd that I hadn't realized this until now. How
totally ridiculous to think that someone would break into the house
and have a party. The sound of so many cars parking near the house,
and the tramp of so many feet from the front gate to the house would
certainly have woken me up. The dog probably would have barked. In
short, there was no way that they could have entered the house.
I wanted Miles by my side. I wanted to put my hands around his big
neck, smell that smell, feel the warmth of his skin. But the dog
wasn't anywhere to be seen. I went and sat back down on the bench in
the foyer by myself, as if I were under a spell. Naturally, I was
terrified. But it surpassed the fear of any one particular thing.
The fear was deep and mysterious like some vast desert.
Taking in a couple of deep breaths, I quietly replenished the air in
my lungs. Little by little, my normal senses returned. It was a
feeling like many cards were being turned over deep inside my
Then I stood up, and muffling the sound of my footsteps exactly like
before, I crept up the stairs. I returned to the bedroom and,
without changing my clothes, got into bed.
The music and conversation meandered on. I couldn't sleep well, so I
had no choice but to lie there, until almost day-break. Leaving the
light on, I leaned against the headboard and stared at the ceiling,
trying to hear the sounds of the never-ending party below.
Eventually, I managed to fall asleep.
When I woke up the next morning, it was raining. It was a quiet
drizzle, whose sole purpose was to soak the earth. The blue jays
sang from under the eaves. The clock's hour hand showed a little
before nine. The doors between the foyer and the living room were
again standing open, as I had left them when I went to bed. The
living room was not disordered. The book that I had been reading lay
open on the couch. Fine cracker crumbs were still scattered across
the top of the coffee table. Just as I had anticipated, there were
no traces of the party.
Miles was curled up on the kitchen floor, sound asleep. He got up
and I gave him his dog food. Shaking his ears, he ate greedily and
with relish, as if nothing had happened.
The bizarre party in the middle of the night took place the first
night I stayed at Casey's house. After that, nothing unusual
transpired. Lexington's quiet, secretive nights returned without
incident. But for some reason, almost every night I was there I'd
wake up in the middle of the night. It was always between 1:00 and
2:00. I guess I was just high-strung, staying in someone else's
house. Or perhaps I was anxious about a recurrence of that strange
When I woke up like this, I'd hold my breath, and strain to hear
anything in the darkness. But there was never a sound. Occasionally,
I'd hear the sound of leaves rustling in the garden. At those times
I'd go downstairs and get a drink of water in the kitchen. Miles was
always curled up asleep on the floor, and when he saw me he'd get up
happily, wag his tail, and lay his head on my feet.
I'd take the dog with me into the living room, turn on the lights,
and carefully look around. I never felt anything there, though. The
sofa and the coffee table were always lined up silently in their
places. Those cold oil paintings of the New England coast hung on
the walls as always. I'd sit down on the couch for 10 or 15 minutes
and just kill time. And when I wasn't able to discover any clue as
to what had happened, I'd close my eyes and focus on my
consciousness. But I couldn't feel anything. I was simply in the
suburbs on a quiet and peaceful night. I'd open the window that
looked out on the garden and breathe in the flower-laden spring air.
The curtains would flap slightly in the night breeze, and in the
woods, owls would hoot.
When Casey returned after a week in London, I decided not to say
anything about what had happened that night, for the time being. I
can't really explain why. I just had a feeling that it was better
that way. Anyway.
"So, how was it? Anything happen while I was gone?" Casey asked me
as we stood in the foyer.
"No, nothing special. It was really quiet and I got a lot of work
done." That was totally the truth.
"That's great," Casey said with a happy look on his face. Then he
pulled a bottle of expensive scotch out of his bag that he'd gotten
for me as a souvenir. We shook hands and parted, and I drove the
Volkswagen back to my apartment in Cambridge.
After that, I didn't see Casey for about six months. We talked on
the phone a few times. Jeremy's mother had died, so that reticent
piano tuner had returned to West Virginia permanently. At that time,
I was in the final stages of a long novel, so except for matters of
utter necessity, I didn't have room to meet anyone or go anywhere. I
was spending more than twelve hours a day at my desk working, and I
don't think I was ever more that a kilometer away from my house.
The last time I met Casey was at a cafe near the Charles River
boathouse. I walked there to meet him and we had a cup of coffee
together. I don't know why, but Casey had aged considerably since
our last meeting. He was almost unrecognizable. He looked like he
had gained ten years. The white in his hair had increased, and he
had dark bags under his eyes. The backs of his hands had also become
more wrinkled. I couldn't reconcile him with the Casey I had known
before, who had always taken such care about his appearance. Perhaps
he had some kind of disease. But Casey didn't say anything about it,
so I didn't ask.
Jeremy probably won't come back to Lexington, Casey said to me with
a sinking voice, gently shaking his head from left to right. I call
West Virginia once in a while and talk to him on the phone. The
shock of his mother's death changed him somehow, he said. He's
different from the Jeremy of the old days. He only talks about the
constellations now. From beginning to end, this unfortunate
astrology talk. How the constellations are positioned today, and so
what it's OK to do today, what should be avoided, that kind of
thing. When he was here, he never mentioned the stars even once.
"I'm really sorry," I said. But I didn't really know who in the
world he was talking about.
"When my mother died, I was only ten years old," Casey began, his
eyes fixed on his coffee cup. "Since I didn't have any brothers of
sisters, it was just the two of, my father and I, left behind. She
died in a yachting accident in the early fall one year. We were
totally unprepared psychologically for the shock of my mother's
death. She was young and vivacious; more than ten years younger than
my father. It had never occurred to either my father or myself that
one day my mother would die. But then one day she was suddenly gone
from this world. Poof. Like she'd vanished into thin air. She was
clever and gorgeous and everybody liked her. She like to go out
walking, and had a great stride, with her back stretched, her chin
thrust forward slightly, and both hands clasped behind her. She
walked with such an air of pleasure. She usually sang songs while
she walked. I loved to go walking with her, the two of us together.
Whenever I think of my mother, I see her walking along the boardwalk
by the sea in Newport, bathed in the vivid light of a summer
morning. The hem of her long summer dress fluttered coolly in the
breeze. It was a cotton flower-print dress. That scene is burned
into my mind like a photograph.
"She was very dear to my father, and he valued her tremendously. I
think he probably loved her even more deeply than he loved me. He
was that kind of person. He loved things that he had gained by his
own hand. To him, I was something obtained by a natural string of
events. This is not to say that he didn't love me: I was his one and
only son. But he never loved me as much as he loved my mother. This
is something I understood well. There was no one that my father
loved like my mother. After my mother died, he never remarried.
"For three weeks after my mother's funeral, my father slept
continuously. That's not an exaggeration. Literally, for three weeks
"Occasionally, he would stagger out of bed and, without saying
anything, drink a glass of water and eat a little food. He looked
like a sleepwalker or a ghost. It was always only for the shortest
possible time, and then he'd get back into bed. With the shutters
shut tight, and the air stagnant in that dark room, he slept like an
enchanted princess. He hardly moved at all. He didn't roll over and
his expression remained the same. Being very uneasy about him, I
went back to his side time after time to check up on him. I was
afraid he would suddenly die in his sleep. When I came in to fluff
his pillow and bring him food, I looked closely at his face.
"But he didn't die. He just slept deeply, like a stone buried in the
ground. I think he probably didn't dream. In that dark, quiet room,
only the sound of his regular breathing could be heard. That sleep,
so long and deep, was unlike anything I had ever seen. He looked
like a person departed for another world. I remember being very
afraid. Completely alone in that huge mansion, I felt like I had
been abandoned by the whole world.
"15 years ago, when my father passed away, I was obviously very sad,
but frankly I wasn't that surprised. My father looked just the same
dead as he had during that deep sleep. He's just like he was then, I
thought to myself. It was deja vu. This overwhelming deja vu, like
something deep inside of me had shifted. From a distance of 30
years, I retraced the past just as it had been. Only this time, I
couldn't hear the sound of his breathing.
"I loved my father. I loved him more than anyone else in the world.
I respected him, too. But even more than that, I was strongly bound
to him, both emotionally and spiritually. I know this may sound
strange, but when my father died I, too, got in bed and slept for
many days, exactly like my father had when my mother died. It was
like I had succeeded to some special ritual of my bloodline.
"It probably lasted for about two weeks. During that time I slept
and slept and slept... I slept until time decayed and melted away
into nothing. No matter how much I slept, it was never enough. At
that time, the world of sleep was the real world, and the everyday
world became nothing more than a vain and temporary place. It was a
superficial world devoid of the color of life. I thought that I
didn't want to live anymore in such a world. Gradually, I came to
understand what I imagine my father must have felt like when my
mother died. Do you get what I'm saying? Things take on a different
shape all together. Without these new shapes, they can't exist."
Casey was then silent for a moment as if he was thinking about
something. It was late fall, and the sound of acorns falling and
hitting the ground with a thud occasionally reached my ears.
"There's only one thing I can say," Casey said raising his head, his
familiar stylish smile returning to his lips. "When I die, there is
not one person in the world who will have to sleep that deep sleep."
Sometimes I think about the Lexington ghosts: about their unknown
character and number, and about that lively party they had in the
living room of Casey's old mansion in the middle of the night. And I
think about Casey and his long, solitary deep sleep, as if in
preparation for death, in the second floor bedroom, with the
shutters shut tight. And I think about his father. I think about
Miles, the lonely dog, and that breathtaking record collection.
Jeremy playing Shubert. The blue BMW wagon parked in front of the
front door. But they all have the feeling of things that happened a
terribly long time ago in a place terribly far away. Even though
they just happened recently.
I've never told these things to anyone until now. Whenever I try to
think about it, although it seems like a very strange tale indeed,
perhaps on account of the distance, it doesn't seem very strange to
me at all.