Short Story Thursdays is a weekly dispatch. Every week you get little known stories in PDF format, accompanied by a short intro and commentary by the guy who runs the whole thing.I started this series called “SST Presents”, so named because that’s the subject title on the emails, to share those stories with you. If you’d like to subscribe, send an email to email@example.com
Good evening, readers.
Thursday has come at a weird angle for me. Nothing inherently wrong or bad has happened, but nothing has quite gone right either. It was a series of mildly unfortunate events. It’s left me in a weird mood where I’m not upset in any way, but I’m not happy or at ease. Today has been like being out of synch with the world, like watching a bad video where people’s mouths move before the audio comes through.
by Françoise Coppee
Today’s SST dispatch came with undertones of sadness and maybe a sort of angst that I can readily identify with today. After reading the email, I was ready to be heartbroken by this story and I wasn’t disappointed. I was nearly in tears after reading today’s story, maybe just a single tear fueled by a kind of ache for this man who just wanted to love someone else. A man who knew he wasn’t pretty and was willing to wait for a woman to love him in time. Who sought pardon for his mistakes, but only with minor regret knowing she would be happier.
This story is a confession within a confession. This priest who presides over a lonely, little frequented parish finally finds himself with a penitent. After only hearing “the uninteresting confessions of some good women”, he’s surprised to find a man waiting to confess his sins. Let me tell you, this is not an uninteresting confession, although I think he was a good man.
I feel so sad for his lot in life, I can’t even bring myself to condemn him for his actions. There’s a certain beauty in his pain, devoted as he was to a woman who left him for someone else. A woman he stayed close to, whose child he loved, who he helped throughout the years with the little money he had.
For some reason the image I have in my head is of a human version of Eeyore. I picture this guy humble, eyes sad with old pain, but not weighed down by it, a kind of peaceful acceptance of what his life was. And maybe I’m projecting, maybe I’m remaking this fictional man in my sadness’ image. I’m okay with that.
The guy who writes the emails was asking himself why hurting could feel good, that ability to find comfort in pain. I think feeling and accepting someone else’s pain helps ease our own. Those knots in our soul that we can’t quite figure out or give voice to, come undone when we let ourselves ache. Even if it’s for a fictional character. The pain is still there, but it becomes more bearable, maybe easier to work through. I don’t know. But I do feel a bit better now, so maybe there’s something to it after all.
Gentle reminder to subscribe to SST. The stories are solid, the dispatches are usually funny, sometimes serious like the one for today, but always a pleasure to read. I’m not getting paid for this. There’s no affiliation to SST. I just really like the concept and I think the stories they send are worth reading and sharing. So, subscribe. It’s free. Do it. Ok, maybe not so gentle.
Have a good one, readers. Until next time.