Waiting for the train

“I’m just waiting to die,” she says, and not for the first time.

“Me, too,” I say, and I tell her about the train station, its tiny platform, windswept, deserted, near the end of a line in rural Japan.

Mount Fuji is in the distance, of course, snow-capped and posterized, exactly as Kawase Hasui would have rendered it, as Murakami would frame it today, a solitary crow wheeling overhead, a sanguine cat seated on the bench beside me.

“Not to worry,” the cat says. “It’s very comfortable on the train. Very clean.”

And punctual, he says.

After a fashion.