stories

The Rumors About Me - Chapter 2 - page 2

The music ended, and the announcer came on.
"And now for the 2 o'clock news. The government this morning issued directives to all prefectual police to immediately confiscate and vigorously crack down on the underground production and sale of the laughing bags now being sold across the nation. The laugh bags in question are toy bags that laugh uproariously. The latest directive was issued because of a recent sharp increase in prank telephone calls using these laughing bags, which have inconvenienced many people. The pranksters apparently call at one or two in the morning, and make the bag laugh into the telephone. It is reported that there are many cases in which people receiving these calls find them very annoying.
"And now to our next news ---. Today Mr.Tsutomu Morishita arrived at work on time. It is believed that immediately after arriving at the office, he went to the typists'room and called Miss Hiruma Sakamoto out into the hallway, where he spoke with her at length. Nothing is known at this time about the contents of the discussion becomes available. Meanwhile, Mr. Morishita subsequently boarded a taxi on company business, and is at this time headed in the direction of the Ginza.
"In other news, the Ministry of Health and Welface today released the results of a nationwide survey on pinball pros and pinball pin placers. According to the study it is extremely bad for one's health to play pachinko after eating eels. When asked for comments, Tadashi Akanemura, chairman of the Japan Pinball Pin Placers' Association, said ---."
The driver turned off the radio. I presumed he found it uninteresting.
Was I really that well known to everybody? I closed my eyes and thought about it. Could it really be that my nameless self was known throughout society?
I did have a title of sorts, but it was only'company'employee. A title like'employee of Kasuyama Electric Industry Ltd.'was the same as no title at all in the world of the mass media. So, just how well known was my name, or my face? Take this cabbie, for instance. As he listened to the news, did he realize that the subject was none other than the man sitting in the back seat of his own taxicab? Or had he recognized me from the moment I get in? Or did he know absolutely nothing about me at all?
I tried asking.
"Hey, hey, driver. Do you know who I am?"
The driver peered into the rear view mirror and studied my face.
"Did I meet you somewhere?"
"No. We've never met."
"Then there's no way I could know you, is there?"
after a moment, he questioned me back.