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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

From "The Beautiful One Has Come: Stories" by Suzanne Kamata

Before Victor arrives, we are bored. Three years have passed since the Great Hanshin Earthquake; a year-and-a-half since royalty's last visit. And there hasn't been a political scandal of eyebrow-raising proportion in quite a while. The last town councilman to get into trouble was a sixty-five-year-old bookseller - a man with a blue-haired wife, children educated in Tokyo, and five grandchildren. This man had been having an affair with a seventeen-yaer-old girl. The girl, whose name was never disclosed because of her age, had another lover at the same time - a company president in the neighboring city. When our local councilman found out about the other guy, he went crazy. He threatened to kill his rival. He stalked him for weeks and made menacing phone calls. And that's what he was arrested for - the threats. I thought at the time that he'd never recover his status in the community. Our town is small; there is nowhere to hide.

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