Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Annual Davenport Family Newsletter

Greetings from sunny San Diego! Sorry we couldn’t get those Christmas cards out in December but hopefully this will serve as a kind of “mid-year” report.

It’s been a year of ups and downs for the Davenport clan, starting of course with John’s divorce from Emily.

The house on the Vineyard is now hers, as she always loved the summers there. John will never forget the time he spent all day planting the vegetable garden as a surprise for her only to find out that she was allergic to rhubarb. You’d think this little fact is something a wife of ten years would want to tell her loving husband! Yet again, he asks himself why he never noticed it before. Boy, did we laugh about that.

As painful an episode as that was, it was nothing compared to what was to come. Hannah is still learning how to walk again after Emily accidentally backed into her with our new Aztek, rushing out of the garage in a rage when John asked her what all the phone calls to Somerville were about. The doctors assure John that the spinal damage isn’t the worst they’ve seen, but trying to give your seven-year-old daughter an answer as to why mommy would want to run her over with the car is impossibly difficult, even for a Yale-educated history professor.

Or, shall we say, ex-history professor. As John’s marriage crumbled around him, he gradually began making more and more rash decisions as work. Telling his class that the Haymarket rioters deserved what they got, that Coolidge was well within reason to use state troops to break up the Boston police strike, that maybe it’s good that slavery in the United States lasted as long as it did are just a few of the more mild examples of his misjudgments in class.

Then there was the affair with his student Shanna. And Rachel. And Billy.

John’s woes culminated in telling the President of the college, at a cocktail party to welcome the new poet-in-residence, that he would love to take the President’s daughter away for a weekend to the Vineyard.

Now you tell me: How was John to know the President’s daughter was 17!

But those days are behind John now. He’s got a great job as overnight stocker at an Office Depot in San Diego. His loyal but childless friends Gary and Virginia have been fantastic in taking care of Hannah, whose rehabilitation is going well. Hopefully she’ll be able to return back to school at an accelerated pace so she won’t fall so far behind that eventually she has to quit high school and get a job as a greeter at Wal-Mart.

John is getting in better shape too. He runs on the beach every morning when he gets out of work and is personally keeping the makers of Cutty Sark in business before he goes to sleep at 9:00 a.m.

As for Emily, maybe she’ll write you her own newsletter and give you an update on all her cunt-rag activities, including banging that piece of shit graphic designer while still “faithfully” married.

Have a fun summer everyone!


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