I’m not an avid fan of short story collections, but I have to say I enjoyed Months and Seasons by Christopher Meeks. The stories are versatile, interesting, keen snapshots of the human condition and the inner turmoil of people’s lives.
Meeks begins the collection with a light, somewhat humorous story: “Dracula Slinks into the Night,” about a man who, against his wishes, attends a party dressed as a vampire and while he’s there suffers an unusual accident. The event brings him closer to his wife. The story’s theme, that we must be reminded of our mortality in order to appreciate life, is one the reader will encounter throughout the book.
In another story, “The Farms at 93rd and Broadway,” the author presents us with an old married couple who have become strangers to one another. They don’t understand nor appreciate each other anymore; the freshness of new love is long gone. The story has some of the best dialogue in the collection and possesses a melancholic tone. The reality of marriage after the first few years is seldom a pretty picture and the author presents it as it is.
“The Sun is a Billiard Ball” was one if my favorite stories. Funny yet poignant, the tale is about a man who thinks he has cancer. Meeks has a bittersweet way of interweaving soft wit with serious passages: “As Albert ran his fingers over his–this stranger’s–face, he realized he was already two years older than his father had been when he’d died from cancer. Albert gazed at his own nearly bald head and guessed he had inherited more than just a propensity for a lack of hair. He would likely die the same way his father had. Maybe it was good he had shaved because chemotherapy would make him hairless anyway.” (40) The story is about the fear of death and the insensitivity of the medical system, where human beings become nothing more than insurance numbers.
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