Maybe I had had an illusion, I thought I stood there a long time, gazing at the rainswept streets. Once again I was a twelve-year-old boy staring for hours at the rain. Look at the rain long enough, with no thoughts in your head, and you gradually feel your body falling loose, shaking free of the world of reality. Rain has the power to hypnotize.
But this had been no illusion. When I went back into the bar, a glass and an ashtray remained where she had been. A couple of lightly crushed cigarette butts were lined up in the ashtray, a faint trace of lipstick on each. I sat down and closed my eyes. Echoes of music faded away, leaving me alone. In that gentle darkness, the rain continued to fall without a sound.
- south of the border, west of the sun, haruki murakami