Haruki Murakami's short story "Where I'm Likely to Find It" begins as an unnamed private investigator takes notes on what Mrs. Kurumizawa tells him about the disappearance of her husband. She starts by telling him of her father-in-law's death. The old man got drunk one night and fell asleep on the trolley tracks and was subsequently run over. This event traumatized her mother-in-law who later moved into the same apartment building as the Kurumizawas. The mother-in-law lives on the twenty-fifth floor. The Kurumizawas lives on the twenty-seventh.
One morning, Mr. Kurumizawa's mother calls and says she is having a panic attack. As he had done several times, Mr. Kurumizawa hurries down the two flights of stairs to comfort his mother. A short while later, Mr. Kurumizawa calls his wife and tells her he is starving and is on his way back upstairs. However, Mr. Kurumizawa never returns home.
Mrs. Kurumizawa is sitting in the narrator's office asking if he will take the case. She wants him to find her husband. The narrator agrees but insists that she not pay him. Mrs. Kurumizawa is obviously well off financially. She is very well dressed; her husband, Mr. Kurumizawa, is an investment broker. She pulls out a bulging envelope from her purse and hands it to the narrator. But he insists he is a volunteer and therefore cannot be paid for his services.
For the next few weeks, the narrator spends a lot of time at the apartment building where Mrs. Kurumizawa lives. Her husband was in the habit of walking up the stairs rather than taking the elevator. Therefore, the narrator does his investigation within the stairwell, the most likely place he was last seen. The narrator meets other residents who also enjoy using the stairs. Though several people know of Mr. Kurumizawa, no one has any idea what might have happened to him.
After several days, Mrs. Kurumizawa calls the narrator to tell him that her husband has been found. He was wondering in another city without any recollection of how he got there or what he had done during the time he went missing.
The narrator ponders all these details and reflects on them in an attempt to understand himself. Like his investigation of Mr. Kurumizawa, the narrator feels that he is looking for some nameless thing in his life. He has no idea what it is, but he is certain that once he finds it, he will recognize it as what he has been looking for.
"Where I'm Likely to Find It" was first published in the New Yorker in 2005. This story was also published in the highly acclaimed short story collection Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (2006).