Silent Night by John Wentworth Chapin

It was that first sip of bourbon that brought on the calm. Yes, she drank every night, and no, she didn’t have more than two except for the occasional festive or depressed night. Yes, she drank alone, and no, she didn’t worry about it. She’d dated enough drunks to know the difference.

Sometimes she had a date and sometimes she had to work late, but she carved out time at about 6:30 to kick off her cramping shoes and relax a bit before going on with the day. Vespers, she called it. The church of the self.

You need to get laid, her sister said. You’re alone too much.

I’m not alone enough, she answered, skewering a cornichon on her fork and snapping off half in her slight overbite for emphasis. It was a quick deli lunch; her sister had the habit of injecting intervention into every meeting, no matter how brief.

You live like a nun, her sister objected.

She toyed with a comparison between Mother Teresa’s needy millions and the marketing department she ran.

That’s right, she agreed. A nun.


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Filed under John Wentworth Chapin

10 responses to “Silent Night by John Wentworth Chapin

  1. Such reality to this slice of life piece, and I felt for her, but also understood her need for the monastic existence. Really nice story!

  2. Well, she seems to enjoy her solitude! Maybe if she’s the nun, her sisters could lay off the sermons… :)

    Nicely told.

  3. Vespers. The church of the self. Love this bit, her need for solitude. As if the answer to everything is getting laid. Peace…

  4. Such a wonderful character here, so sure of herself even in her finding her own way of coping. Well done, John.

  5. guy

    Sounds like Sis needs to get laid. I can relate to the nunnish sister, perhaps too easily, so for me, the busybody sister is really intriguing.

  6. How family can insert opinions, whether asked or not, and get deeper than any others, is just cooked to perfection in this one. Great read.

  7. Kim Hutchinson

    “the church of the self” Great line! And I love the relationship between the sisters. Well done.

  8. So, a silent night every night! Cool! Enjoyed this. Thanks.

  9. Pingback: Week #32 – Silence | 52|250 A Year of Flash

  10. Catherine Davis

    Succinct, (well, of force, eh?!), crisp, very effective. Particular details like cramping shoes and the slight overbite are such good choices and I’ll just pick two loves: “Vespers, she called it,” and “the habit of injecting intervention into every meeting.” Rich in character and relationship – I like this very much.

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