The Adventures of Chartan: A List and a Letter

(Last Sunday: Minerva tells Chartan she wants to buy the limo service and make him general manager. Chartan, distracted by the job offer, blurts out to Gina one of the names he likes for their baby is Thor, Minerva’s  inventor friend—he is surprised that Gina picks “Thor.”)

            As usual Chartan woke at first light while Gina’s eyes remained shut tight. He immediately sensed a loss of personal freedom. Minerva wanted him to work for her. Her aggressive attitude had even encroached on the naming of his son. Thor? That name is too war-like and reminds me of my friend Brazil who is fighting in the Ukraine. These new developments have pushed him in a direction with much uncertainty. He would prefer to rise in the morning with a sense that he had simply helped people the previous day. But, on the contrary, two teens he had driven to a prom had been missing for more than 48 hours. He was clearly not in control of his life.

            He took a few steps and entered the kitchen where he put the kettle on for pour-over coffee. He sat down at the table with a pad and pen, believing that somehow making a list of actions to take would begin the process of restoring order in his mind. (1) He would talk to the police and offer ideas for finding the teens. He had no expertise in police work, only a strong ego that allowed him to find logical answers to complex problems. (2) He would tell Gina that he no longer liked the name, Thor, and preferred “Jake.” (3) He would decline Minerva’s job offer, although the reasons why were not yet clear to him.

            He examined the list. While the items concerned issues that bothered him, they lacked details. He folded the paper in half, rose from the table and put on his running clothes. He would jog downtown.

            Two hours later, soaked in sweat, he opened the apartment door. Gina was at the table holding an envelope.

            “This came in the mail this morning—a letter from the Ukraine,” said Gina. “It must be your friend.”

            Brazil hadn’t been on his list.

(Continued next Sunday)    

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