As is well known, stories are always flowing into each other. It is something of a mystery where one story ends, and another begins. But more mysterious are those stories that end entirely, for we never hear of them. Can we even be sure that such stories ever existed?

There was the story of the girl who, through a series of enigmatic events, somehow mislaid the sun. An enormous thing, you might think, to mislay.

Another story concerns an eclipse, and its unforeseen effects on the inhabitants of a remote mountain village.

Or a separate story, but also involving an eclipse, of how some people vanish from their alpine homes for a while, but then eventually reappear, found higher up the slopes (some, though, vanish definitively, and are never seen again).

Some of those stories are vague, with ill-defined edges, and weak narratives; others are very clear and meticulously plotted, fulfilling to a high degree the generally acknowledged criteria for the successful performance of a particular genre.

But all are afflicted by the pointlessness of stories.

Once the parade has passed, the bass drum ceased pounding, the trombones stopped smearing the air with their raucous brass, the stories flutter in side streets like discarded fliers. (Reading, you see, is the parade.)

No one really opened the door to the garden with the nightingales; Max didn’t really have a terrible toothache; Kimiko’s hair never dropped forward a little from behind her ear, swinging against her temple, starting Yasujiro’s tears, he wasn’t sure why.

As for this story, has it entered the set of those stories that end entirely? How can we know?

Has Yasujiro stopped crying?

 


from the series construct (2012–present, ongoing)

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