Volume 2, Afterword
Recently, I wrote a short piece on a made-up term called "the summer complex," and found it had a startlingly major influence. There are people in this world who feel "I've never once lived a proper summer," and every time they see things which they strongly feel to be summer-like, they feel melancholy about the gap between their summers and a "proper summer." I named this trend the "summer complex" for convenience; however, the term "proper summer" which I used casually and vaguely seemed to grab some people's hearts. I believe the large approving response can only be attributed to it being "proper summer," and would not hold true for "proper spring," "proper autumn," or "proper winter."
The proper summer. No one taught you what it was, but it exists in your mind like a memory from a past life, a primal scenery which carries a kind of nostalgia. The clearer this vision is, and the more aware of it you are, and the more estranged your summers are from this vision, the deeper the summer complex. What's more, seek it as you will, the proper summer only exists in your head. To reveal the secret: the "proper summer" is a combination of all the countless "if only I'd"s you've had in your life. Attempting to recreate this summer, well, it's a game that you're set up to lose from the start. To give an comparison, it's like falling in love with a girl you only see in your dreams. Being tormented by "correctness" that doesn't really exist is a strange thing. But however foolish the vision may be, if you think just once "I wonder, is there someone who's lived a summer like that out there?", instantly, that vision acquires the same weight as reality.
A "proper summer" exists in my mind too, and has continued to throw my mind into disarray since I was around 14 years old. Maybe me writing a story about summer now is me struggling to at least reproduce the "proper summer" in the pure framework of a story. Once you're able to give appropriate names to your feelings, that alone can lighten your mood a little. By telling of my summer with the appropriate words, I believe I'm easing that load just a little.
- Sugaru Miaki
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