An elephant mysteriously vanishes. A giant frog is waiting in your apartment. Your cat mysteriously vanishes. Two moons hang in the sky. Your wife mysteriously vanishes. A strange man comes to you and asks you to find a sheep, or a woman calls and asks for ten minutes of your time. You might be the protagonist in a novel or short story by acclaimed Japanese author Haruki Murakami. Look around you. If any of these things sound familiar, you might want to get a new collar for your cat:

1. You drink your coffee black.

2. You have a deep and abiding love for old jazz records.

3. You find it easy to have emotionless sex with strangers. If you were to describe the sex to a friend you would use the most abstract language possible, but you never do because you have no friends.

4. You worship the 1960s and the simple comforts in life: black coffee, old jazz records, emotionless afternoon sex. If, however, you are actually living in the 1960s, you mostly just keep to yourself.

If some—or all—of these things apply, you might want to read the rest of the list at The Toast. And if the mere thought of Murakami leaves you hankering for a short story, you can find more fiction in the Longreads archive.

Photo: Smithsonian, Flickr


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