Sippican Cottage

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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

The Festival of the Kiss

Will you thumb through the pictures when I am gone?

Will my face, made careworn and tired, be restored in your mind’s eye? I cannot know what it was you ever saw in me. I cannot understand how you could know that when I said those things all people say to one another, almost without thinking, that I would really mean them. I said it and only half believed it myself, uttering such extravagant pledges of dubious value. Not for want of them being true. But I am unreliable.

There is nothing in this world but to love, and be loved in return. In a hundred years the most important man you ever met is anonymous. In a thousand everyone is. We cobbled together a life around the table where we break the bread, and for a few thousand times we were as one. I saw your face in our children’s faces. You said you saw mine. The universe passed the plate, and we put in our offering. We are poor, but it’s enough for anyone to give. No man could do more. No man could ask for more.

I remember when I was lying on the bed like a dead thing, and you came into the room and thought I was asleep. I wasn’t asleep; I was gone from sight, and sound, and lost in a fever. I lay there in a puddle of sweat and more; my very life coming out of every pore, leaving nothing but a husk where a man used to be.

And you kissed me. I remember.

5 Responses

  1. I think I've seen this before.(?)
    Still waiting for the story of the foundation under a house. It's been a year. (!)
    Since then, we put a foundation under a (moved) 80×30 shop.
    So sorry to hear of the closing of the shop. In some regards, it's like the death of a child.
    But your boys are doing so well, it all makes up for it.
    Jerry

  2. Only you can squeeze so much enchantment into such a simple, tender pedestrian moment.

    Wonderful.

    Bob in Manassas, Virginia USA

  3. We will never truly know how, or why our beloved
    ones see something in us worth keeping. Perhaps
    is like the scientific and philosophical examination
    of the results of butterfly wings fluttering in Costa Rica; perhaps it is deep in the nature of the physical universe. In my case I believe it to be the grace of God bestowed upon an undeserving and, and often failed man. It just is….In many ways I feel like the man you describe and the thoughts you express.
    But you have written and shared with us in those
    paragraphs so much more than I could ever achieve. Keep up the good work…

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