『そうか、もう君はいないのか』ー連れ添う、てあったかくて切ない。

五十億の中で ただ一人「おい」と呼べるおまえ


夫婦、という関係は、まだまだ僕には実感のわかないものです。
ましてや、数十年連れ添い、そしてその相手を失うということを、僕はうまく想像すらできません。

『そうか、もう君はいないのか』
これは、数多くの経済・歴史小説を生み出して来た城山三郎が、最後に書き綴っていた、妻への想いを文章に起こしたものです。

妻を懐かしむような文体には、取り立ててふたりの関係を強調するような、飾り気はありません。
しかし、それは地味な内容になっているというわけではなく、逆に、妻への愛を恥ずかしげなくまっすぐ語る言葉が溢れています。

とまどって佇んでいると、オレンジ色がかかった明るい赤のワンピースの娘がやって来た。くすんだ図書館の建物には不似合いな華やかさで、間違って、天から妖精が落ちてきた感じ。

この文章を書いている時、城山は70を越えています。
70歳を越えてなお、自分の妻との出会いを「妖精に会った」と表現することができるでしょうか。

こちらが何だか恥ずかしくなってしまうような、ストレートに綴られる想いに温かみを感じます。

しかし、そのいとしい妻は、もういないのです。
その事実が、文章に切ない温かみを持たせます。

城山は、「妻の喪失」については描いていません。
妻との出会いから死去までの、ふたりの生活を描くまでです。

これは、城山が原稿を書き上げる前に、自身も妻のもとへ旅立ってしまったのも、原因の1つでしょう。
しかし、僕は、城山は「妻が亡くなる」、ということを直接言葉にできなかったのではないかと、思っています。
それはあまりに、酷な作業だったのではないでしょうか。

妻と夫。長い時間を経て、それぞれがそれぞれの一部になっていることでしょう。
愛する人をなくすということは、自分の中の何かを亡くすことではないでしょうか。

妻を亡くしたものの言葉としては、城山の文章はとても気丈です。
しかし、巻末の城山の娘さんの文章で初めて、憔悴しきった城山の様子が描かれています。

「硬質な文を書く城山にしては、この本は城山らしくない。生々しい」という声があります。

しかし、むしろ、妻を亡くした者の言葉としては、あまりにしっかりしています。
これは、城山三郎の、男の意地、というか、作家としての意地だったのではないでしょうか。

そうした抑制を経てなお、こぼれ落ちてくる妻への実直な言葉は、珠玉です。

「今年こそは書き上げたい」
と言っていた矢先の入院。今思うに、母がこれ以上書かれるのを拒み、本になる前に父を連れて行ってしまったのかもしれない。「やっぱり恥ずかしいもの」と言う母の声が聞こえてきそうな気がする。

これは、巻末の娘さんの言葉です。

そう、このふたりの関係は、他でもなく、城山夫婦ふたりだけのものです。
妻の死後を書かなかったのは、書けなかったからだ、ということを述べました。

しかし、実際はそうではなく、ふたりの愛は、ふたりだけのものだったから、書かなかったのかも知れません。

そんな貴重な物語を垣間みれる僕たちは、幸運なのでしょう。

そうか、もう君はいないのか
喪失と恋慕が混ざった、秀逸な題です。
そして、この混合物を、もしかしたら愛と呼ぶことができるのかも知れません。

でも、城山三郎の文章を前にすると、こんな僕の言葉は無粋に見えてしょうがありません。

数十年後、また読み返したい一冊です。

単行本

文庫

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