Friend interview: Toby

What did you eat today?

-I ate Joe’s salmon bacon chowder which Ali replicated. That’s what I had for breakfast. I also had two teas- one a mysterious floral berry tea, the other one a clump of five teabags I had sitting around, already used. I put them all in a mug and made another tea. A really ugly mug. Four teabags in a really ugly mug. Then I just ate books for hours. Then I got SO hungry! And I was like (OW! OW!) (cat is digging claws into Toby’s leg) so I went to wholefoods and ate a steak wrap. I didn’t like it at all. I’m never eating one again.

What was on the steak wrap, and how much did it cost?

-It cost three government dollars and there was weird stuff in it. Those peppers that come out of a can, and the steak, of course. The steak was the main problem. It was not good! There was some kind of cheese substance that was boiling out in the microwave. Sauce, overcooked onions. There might’ve been some other things, but they’re unmemorable.

But how did the steak wrap make you FEEL?

-Oh, just like it was filling up space. I also felt disappointed. In fact, I’m still disappointed! I forget how disappointed I was about it, but now that we’ve talked about it, I realize that I wish I would’ve eaten something else, like the forbidden rice dish.

-Now I’d like to tell you how I freaked out the librarians. I
was just asking them questions, about things I wanted to find in the library, and I got the sense- I talked to maybe fifteen members of the library staff in my whole time there, and they were like, why are you asking us questions? Like people didn’t ask them questions anymore! Like, maybe people ask them- where are the bathrooms? Where are the DVDs? But not, where is this material? Do you have it? Help me find this random obscure thing! It was like, they didn’t know how to be librarians anymore.

How did you get home from the library?

-On my bicycle.

Was it raining?

-No. It had stopped raining by the time I left the library.

Did you find your obscure materials?

-Some. I’m kind of upset about the things I didn’t find. There’s a fairly famous Austrian artist, and the Portland library system only has two books about him, and neither of them you can check out! It’s very strange to me. They’re in the closed stacks. You can only look at them at the library.

Toby’s library materials

Did you have any dreams last night?

-I don’t remember.

What did you do last night?

-I don’t remember. I know I stayed up really late. What happened last night? I read a bunch of my book, I made a lot of phone calls. I got really inspired by my book, and figured out all these things, and then I gave myself a tarot reading! And the first thing the tarot reading said was, “you’re wearing yourself out! You need to got to bed!” And then I kept doing it anyway, and it kept saying mean things to me. I’d turn over a card, and think- this is it! And it would say- “Go to bed! You’re wearing yourself out, fool!”

What book are you reading?

-Kafka on the shore. It’s so good!

What’s it about?

-It’s about a boy who runs away, and has an alternate persona named Crow. And it’s about a man that lost half of his shadow and can talk to cats, and he’s always saying how he’s dumb, and he gets a subsidy from the government.

Kafka on the Shore

Because he only has half a shadow?

-The government doesn’t know that. They just think he’s a mental invalid. But the cats know. Colonel Sanders is in the book, too. He’s a pimp! But a pimp for metaphysical purposes.

Colonel Sanders of KFC?!


4 thoughts on “Friend interview: Toby

  1. Kafka on the Shore is one of my favorites, though the best book that Murakami has written is The Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World. All of his books are worth reading. The way he combines supernatural concepts with mundane, day-to-day events to comment on human existence in a postmodern society is brilliant.

  2. this warmed my worker bee cell…i may be a drone but i need this portal!!

    murakami makes me feel uncomfortable.

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