Three Stories by Jaan Seunnasepp
| A few years ago, my wife and I took a trip to the west coast that ended in Portland. Though we were there only a couple days, I fell in love with that city. The people were friendly and helpful. The food was spectacular. And the air had a familiarity to it, as if it were the home I’d grown up in. We had great sushi, visited Widmer Brothers brewery, caught an outdoor art show, and took in the wonderful scenery. I most vividly remember our trip to Multnomah Falls. We marveled at the water’s needle like descent over the rocky cliffs. My favorite picture from the entire trip is a horizon shot of the falls, with the black outline of pine trees reaching into the royal blue sky. I missed Portland the moment we departed and I’ve always wanted to return.
That’s why I love this collection of stories. It captures the essence of the Portland and it refreshes my longing to return. Whether it’s at the local coffee shop or walking down the street in one of Portland’s famous rains, it feels like you’re right there with the characters, not just observing their world, but a part of it.
The opening paragraphs of both Solitaire and Waiting for a Latte stand out like paintings in my mind. The description of the winter and the rains that Portland is known for are but two little things Jaan Seunnasepp uses to accurately and artistically capture the feel of the city. He uses this language throughout this collection to weave together a blanket that you can wrap yourself in. In reading Solitaire, I was especially enchanted by a scene in which the narrator takes refuge in a bar. Not only does Jaan capture the mood of the scene perfectly, but he uses the mood almost as a character itself which allows the story to come full circle in a very pleasing way.
Solitaire is my favorite piece in this volume, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. It spoke to me. I could relate to it. But don’t let that overshadow his other two meticulously crafted stories. Waiting for a Latte is the perfect fare for someone hungry to eat at the buffet of witty cynicism. Goodie Two-Shoes is a quick, delicious appetizer that will leave you hungry for the entrée. It is a the prefect blend of dark humor and serious story telling.
It’s always great when writers are inspired by the places they call home. In a way, we’re not just reading a story, we’re reading a little more about them. I hope you enjoy this volume, and I’m sure that you will. May the words and descriptions linger with you in the same fashion that the image of Multnomah Falls has lingered with me.
- Alex Stevens, Editor