Jessica is back from ballet class. Olivia's cough is better. She will be going to school in the morning. The dogs? The dogs are still everywhere. Tatiana is wondering where she will be able to find a stuffed seagull. Two stuffed seagulls. The play calls for one dead seagull, just killed, and another one stuffed and mounted.
"I called this taxidermist in New York, and the guy said, 'How soon do you need it?' " Tatiana says. "That got me nervous. I don't want anyone going out and killing a seagull. I said, 'No, thanks.' A theatrical supply store says I can rent one for $950, but $950? I'll paste white feathers on a rubber chicken before I pay $950 to rent a stuffed seagull. That's more than the actors are getting."
Joe says he looks forward to the play. Am I familiar with its history? He says Chekhov produced the play for the first time in St. Petersburg. It closed after five performances. A few years later there was a production in Moscow. There it was popular. The play became a classic.
"It's a good play," I say. "I enjoyed reading it."
"All these different levels," Namath agrees. "A good play."
Chekhov. Who'd have thought? We talk about Chekhov. We talk about the high cost of sending kids to college. We talk about time. Namath mentions that this summer his football camp in Connecticut will be in its 26th season. He looks forward to seeing some of the guys from the old Jets who work with him.
"Twenty-six years," I say. "It goes in a hurry, doesn't it?"
"Yeah, but that's a good thing," Namath says. "What does it mean when time flies? It means things are going O.K. It's when you're having trouble that time drags. I've had some of those times in my life. I don't mind when time flies."
I say I understand. I guess I really do.
Chekhov. Who'd have thought? The most interesting part about getting older, it seems to me, is seeing how everything comes out.