“The Old Man is Honored” / Memorable Fancies #2400

The old man fumbles with his fork and takes another bite. He hears someone at the far end of the table, praising him. He has won an award for something, or is at last retiring. Whatever. The droning praise goes on. He doesn’t recognize those things he is being praised for – or perhaps he did those things, but other things – what the speaker isn’t mentioning, perhaps doesn’t know about – what the old man was so concerned with at the time, what he felt both elated and destroyed by – what made his life seem real – those the speaker does not mention.

But perhaps that’s better – better the dull recital, the forgettable cheap champagne. Better than what … the old man trembles … what could have been said about him.


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