Still, Chekhov, given all his accomplishments and doctorly professionalism, is wishful, wistful. The great sketch of the lost dog, from her perspective, "Kashtanka." (She leaves the side of her master, led astray by new and different smells and sights. Wandering into a friendly person, who runs a circus she will perform in. The goose, the cat. The interpretation of animal language.) The writer at his simplest best, a fable, a dog's experience of lostness, the dying goose, the nervous cat.
Like the great long short story "The Steppe," it's a story that opens doors to the deepest of human feelings through conditions that are almost abstract. It's writing that makes a Platonov story possible.( Carver as well follows the example.) One of those stories that almost says out loud, "cheer up, my friend; everyone's life has suffering."
Moby Dick having a similar fable quality... Ahab's scar...
A writer speaking from personal experience...
Thoughts, mental masturbations after a long shift, no busboy, Mr. T the tittering bon vivant staying late savoring his digestif after his cheese plate. The handsome young waiter, J, after being very helpful, after getting Mr. T settled, after helping me get the last few desserts out to that other late table, leaves with his girlfriend, a perfect classic beauty. (He's young and won't mess it up.) "They are a lovely couple," Mr. T remarks. Last visit, as he sang loudly "God, I know I'm one" to the Animals "House of the Rising Sun," he proclaims us the makings of a good "wrinkle bar." This one, as everyone seems to know each other, we're like a small town Veterans of Foreign Wars. He's amused enough singing along to Bob Dylan as he sniffs his snifter with one nostril closed by a finger, making do with a Balvenie 15 year old. Toward the end he can see I'm finally a bit pissed off having to drag the last few dirty plates downstairs, just want to be left alone to eat a bowl of brown rice. He apologizes for keeping me late, seeing I've about had it and would like to hurl something against the wall, and when I grumble, "no busboy," he makes relieved reference to the classic psychology of him being for a moment a bit "it's all about me." He leaves and I do some stocking for the big Bastille Day private party, Condrieu, Meursault, Clos Vougeot, Cotes Du Nuit (which I end up leaving down in the cave where it's cool, not 80 degrees as it is during the summertime upstairs.) Pandora is playing the Leonard Cohen station, and even he and his station, one is left with the insipid nature of pop music, childish, meant to excite the emotions, failing to relieve muscular tension, eating up years of brain power if you let it be the soundtrack.
A few glasses of wine while riding the bike on the stand in front of the television, the Tour going through the Vosges, turn in without even showering.
Today Contador abandons in the mists of the Vosges with a knee injury, the frame of his Specialized breaking as he climbed a pass.