That Weird Inversion

‘I made up my mind I was going to find someone who would love me unconditionally three hundred and sixty five days a year’

‘Wow,’ I said. ‘Did the search pay off?’

‘That’s the hard part,’ said Midori. She watched the rising smoke for a while, thinking. ‘I guess I’ve been waiting so long I’m looking for perfection. That makes it tough.’

‘Waiting for the perfect love?’

‘No, even I know better than that. I’m looking for selfishness. Perfect selfishness. Like, say I tell you I want to eat strawberry shortcake. And you stop everything you’re doing and run out and buy it for me. And you come back out of breath and get down on your knees and hold this strawberry shortcake out to me. And I say I don’t want it any more and throw it out the window. That’s what I’m looking for.’

‘I’m not sure that has anything to do with love,’ I said with some amazement.

‘It does,’ she said. ‘You just don’t know it. There are time in a girl’s life when things like that are incredibly important.’

‘Things like throwing strawberry shortcake out the window?’

‘Exactly. And when I do it, I want the man to apologize to me.
‘Now I see, Midori. What a fool I have been! I should have known that you would lose your desire for strawberry shortcake. I have all the intelligence and sensitivity of a piece of donkey shit. To make it up to you, I’ll go out and buy you something else. What would you like? Chocolate Mousse? Cheesecake?’

‘So then what?’

‘So then I’d give him all the love he deserves for what he’s done.’

‘Sounds crazy to me.’

‘Well, to me, that’s what love is…’

-Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami

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