She chirped away as we walked to the car. She insisted humorously that she carry my suitcase so that I would live a little longer than Blandly.

We sat at her kitchen table and talked. We drank hot coffee and she tried to stuff me with cupcakes.

I asked her if she knew how old Blandly was. He had been our professor. It was how we met.

I don’t know. He was young, wasn’t he?”

Way too young,” I said. “What was it?”

A heart attack—natural causes, I don’t know. Some woman found him.”


On a couch, in his living room, with the television on. He always watched too much television.”


The next night Brigit and I went to the funeral home for the wake. We were both apprehensive at the prospect of seeing his family. We weren’t too sure who they were or even how many there were. He hadn’t spoken of them often. We were fairly certain his parents were alive, however, and braced ourselves with whiskey before leaving. We decided that we wouldn’t stay but for a minute.

At the door an old man in a gray suit met us.

He took our coats and directed us into a small sitting room.

I was quite surprised to see the number of blue and white haired old ladies, looking lovely, who were gathered about, gossiping. Friends of the family, I supposed.

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