My Deal Me In story-reading challenge deck turned up a club at long last. Clubs mean I read a Chekhov story, which is an additional challenge I set for myself. My husband loves Chekhov; I wasn’t impressed by the few stories he had induced me to read. Now, after having read twenty or so, I love him as much as my husband does–maybe more!
Our Story A Day May challenge for today is to write a story in the form of a letter.
A Day in the Country
by Anton Chekhov
Chekhov follows a little beggar girl in a country village. Their adult friend, a cobbler, spends the day with them, answering questions, schooling them in the multitude of names and ways of the plants and animals around them, all the knowledge shared by everyone in the village and country, which the children will need to know to live successful lives. Successful, in this case, means not dead. They don’t know the science of anything, but they know what they need to know, plus a little poetical embroidery. And the story grows in beauty until the end, when I cried for happy. Unlike many Chekhov stories I’ve read since I began, this story involving children is decidedly not ghastly.
And now, my story.
A Story in Eight Emails
You’ll never guess who I saw on the street today. SEAN! Remember when he said he was going to Canada to find his father? I’ll bet he never went. He was always full of hot air.
Sean DID go to Canada, and he DID find his father! I thought you knew. But, now that I think about it, you were in France doing the starving artist thing when that came down. His mother tried to stop him–I think that’s around the time you left–because you know how she was/is. He didn’t just dodge the draft, he deserted her and their son, even though she wasn’t even showing and probably didn’t even know she was expecting when he went, and even though she could certainly have gone with him. But that’s just like her.
But, anyway, like I said, Sean went, and he tracked his father down. When Sean came back, he told everybody his mother was right, and that he was married up there to some Canadian chick. You do know Sean’s father and mother never married, right? Well, they didn’t know they needed to, did they? Remember Sean said he was raised by his aunt in Wisconsin? Well, that’s why. His mother never made any secret to HIM that she was his mother, and his aunt called him YOU LITTLE BASTARD all the time, so finding out his father was married to somebody else was maybe a shock, but it wasn’t a surprise.
So Sean’s back in town. I wonder if his mother is sick, and that’s why he’s back. He came back right after Canada–I guess to tell his mother she was right. Sean was always fair-minded. Remember when you had that fight with him about whether or not he had any talent for poetry? And then he printed that chapbook at his own expense and couldn’t even give them away, and he took the mic at graduation when he went up to get his diploma and announced that you were right and that he was a no-talent hack? Administration about freaked!
Oh, well, old times have passed and gone.
I totally forgot about that graduation announcement! You never knew what that boy was going to get up to next!
Angie, Sean’s mother isn’t just sick, she PASSED! I asked Judy (she still lives next door to Sean’s mother), and she told me it happened two weeks ago and the funeral was day before yesterday. I told her I wish I had known, that I would have gone. And do you know what she had the nerve to say? She said, and I quote, “If I’d known you cared, I would have told you.” Now, why wouldn’t I care? What a bitch! I’ll never call HER to catch up on old times, believe you me!
I saw Sean on the street again, and he looked so blue and downhearted I almost went up and hugged him. He looked up and saw me coming towards him and he just looked right through me. I don’t think he recognized me, really. So I thought I would just let sleeping dogs lie and I walked on past him. Probably better that way.
Oh, he remembers you, all right. Just before I got your last email, I got one from him! He said he looked up my name on the ‘net and found my business and he emailed me through the Contact Form. Did you know he has his own research firm up in Wisconsin? Works for professors and detectives and has five people on staff plus a receptionist. A real entrepreneur, just like me!
So you and Sean are fellow entrepreneurs. How about that? I guess I could be an art entrepreneur, if I wanted to take it that way. Churn out work-for-hire, or paint lots and lots of whatever sells. Sometimes I wish I could. Maxime wouldn’t hear of it, though. He’s so proud of his “Madame L’artiste”!
Yes, Maxime was really a find! Sean and I always admired your work; it’s wonderful that you found someone who loves it and loves you. Everybody deserves that, but not everybody is lucky enough to have it. Now I sound like the old days, feeling sorry for everybody in the world except the lucky few–remember? Remember that cheap white wine we used to buy, and I put maraschino cherry juice in mine because it was too dry for me? lol! Sean and I were just talking about that.
YES, SEAN! He just showed up at my door with a dozen red roses and a bottle of that very wine–and a jar of maraschino cherries! ROTFL!
Oh, so Sean’s there, is he? You two were always making goo-goo eyes at each other, as I recall. Sounds like you’re picking up right where you left off. Too bad it too you so long to get around to it, but better late than never, I guess.
Well, Maxime’s mounting another exhibit for me in the fall, and I have two more paintings I’d like to do before then. I’ll let you and Sean get back to your middle-aged love fest and go confer with the muse.
You’ll never guess who just hooked up after all these years. SEAN AND ANGELA!
MY PROMPT FOR TODAY: Write a story in letters.