Doug Bruns

Fish and Chips and Beer

In Death, Life, The Examined Life on February 27, 2013 at 6:00 am


I had fish and chips with a friend a few weeks ago. Fish and chips and beer, that’s what we do. Sadly, he is seriously ill, and I know fish and chips and beer together will end soon. Perhaps it has ceased already and I am yet to acquire that fraught knowledge. Too often things work that way.

He told me the story of a woman who lost her husband to a harbor riptide, a woman who stood helpless and wind-blown and watched as the man was pulled to sea and disappeared. Years later the woman took the linen dress shirts of her dead husband and made handkerchiefs of them and gave them to my friend. I found this a lovely, if dark, image.

My friend asked if I followed him as he told his stories. He likes digression, sharp turns of speech, and grace notes of imagination. Yes, I said, I follow. He rubbed his forehead and said in frustration only three people can follow him. With his illness and pending decline I am intent on following him. When my time comes nothing could be more important than someone might say, He listened.

  1. beautifully written. Thank you for the story.

  2. I cried. Thank you for writing your stories.

  3. A gift…for both of you. It is an honor to touch another person’s life as you have.

I welcome your comments. Thanks for reading.

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