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Jan 16th, 2020
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  1. “Extraordinary beans you’ve got here. Come
  2. have a look.”
  4. Horiki’s voice and color had changed. Just a
  5. minute before he had staggered off downstairs, and
  6. here he was back again, before I knew it.
  8. ‘‘What is it?”
  10. A strange excitement ran through me. The two of
  11. us went down from the roof to the second floor and
  12. were half-way down the stairs to my room on the
  13. ground floor when Horiki stopped me and whispered,
  14. “Look!” He pointed.
  16. A small window opened over my room, through
  17. which I could sec the interior. The light was lit and
  18. two animals were visible.
  20. My eyes swam, but I murmured to myself tlirough
  21. my violent breathing, “This is just another aspect of
  22. the behavior of human beings. There’s nothing to be
  23. surprised at.” I stood petrified on the staircase, not
  24. even thinking to help Yoshiko.
  26. Horiki noisily cleared his throat. I ran back up
  27. to the roof to escape and collapsed there. The feelings
  28. which assailed me as 1 looked up at the summer night
  29. sky heavy with rain were not of fury or hatred, nor
  30. even of sadness. They were of overpowering fear, not
  31. the terror the sight of ghosts in a graveyard might
  32. arouse, but rather a fierce ancestral dread that could
  33. not be expressed in four or five words, something per-
  34. haps like encountering in the sacred grove of a Shinto
  35. shrine the white-clothed body of the god. My hair
  36. turned prematurely grey from that night. I had now
  37. lost all confidence in myself, doubted all men im-
  38. measurably, and abandoned all hopes for the things
  39. of this world, all joy, all sympathy, eternally. This
  40. was truly the decisive incident of my life. I had been
  41. split through the forehead between the eyebrows, a
  42. wound that was to throb with pain whenever I came in
  43. contact with a human being.
  45. “I sympathize, but I hope it’s taught you a lesson.
  46. I won’t be coming back. This place is a perfect hell
  47. . . . But you should forgive Yoshiko. After all, you’re
  48. not much of a prize yourself. So long.” Horiki was
  49. not stupid enough to linger in an embarrassing situa-
  50. tion.
  52. I got up and poured myself a glass of gin. I wept
  53. bitterly, crying aloud. I could have wept on and on,
  54. interminably.
  56. Without my realizing it, Yoshiko was standing
  57. haplessly behind me bearing a platter with a moun-
  58. tain of beans on it. “He told me he wouldn’t do any-
  59. thing . . .”
  61. “It’s all right. Don’t say anything. You didn’t
  62. know enough to distrust others. Sit down. Let’s eat
  63. the beans.”
  65. We sat down side by side and ate the beans. Is
  66. trustfulness a sin, I wonder? The man was an illiterate
  67. shopkeeper, an undersized runt of about thirty, who
  68. used to ask me to draw cartoons for him, and then
  69. would make a great ado over the trifling sums of
  70. money he paid for them.
  72. The shopkeeper, not surprisingly, did not come
  73. again. I felt less hatred for him than I did for Horiki.
  74. Why, when he first discovered them together had he
  75. not cleared his throat then, instead of returning to
  76. the roof to inform me? On nights when I could not
  77. sleep hatred and loathing for him gathered inside me
  78. until I groaned under the pressure.
  80. I neither forgave nor refused to forgive her.
  81. Yoshiko was a genius at trusting people. She didnH
  82. know how to suspect anyone. But the misery it caused.
  84. God, I ask you. Is trustfulness a sin?
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