P O S T E D B Y A P R A X I N A
Editor’s note: We publish occasional letters written to us by the Countess Apraxina. She and White Courtesy Telephone editor Albert Ruesga became friends after a few too many champagne martinis at a Tolstoi Foundation reception many years ago. According to Albert, the two spent the rest of the evening pretending to share a fondness for the works of Turgenev. The Countess consistently and mistakenly refers to Albert as Alyosha ...
My Dearest Alyosha—
You have driven Countess Apraxina to margins of sanity! How shameful for me to admit it! My ears burn as I write this, but I will always play Varvara Petrovna to your Stepan Trofimovich*! How accurately that madman Dostoevsky described me when he wrote:
Some unbearable love for him lay hidden in her, in the midst of constant hatred, jealousy, and contempt.
Yes, jealousy too! How is this possible, you ask, I should be jealous of you? I do not know. Aunt Sofia tells me you are little more than bony chicken stuffed into ill-fitting suit, small man with small ideas. Now that you are big shot in New Orlinks she assures me levees will break from abject boredom. And yet I miss you terribly, my solnyshko.
I am ask new assistant, Caio, to sketch ideas I had for philanthropy Mardi Gras parade. I attach below. I do not know why I do this for you, my little dullard, after you have so many times rejected Apraxina’s brilliant concepts for you and your miserable philanthropoid friends!
I am fly to DC tonight. With so many new people in Washington, business of shameless self-promotion is absolutely booming! Call me on my cell.
* Two tragicomic characters from Dostoevsky’s Demons (a.k.a. The Possessed).