Wednesday, March 23, 2022

I was at a high school reunion, an event outdoors. Things had proceeded normally. Innocuous chats with long-ago friends and acquaintances. Then a group of men gathered at the far end. They were singing a song in honor of a friend who had died, a fraternity brother in college, not from our school, and weeping. The emotions were raw, as though this had only happened recently. The rest of us observed respectfully, at a remove. I felt clueless and out of it for not being aware of this tragedy. Everyone else seemed to be in the know. Apparently the man had died at a party, maybe similar to this one. And yet that party had continued after. This fact accentuated the sorrow somehow. Still they sang, and they wept, evoking his life, his personality. We were indoors now, a large living space. I was opening a fridge to get a beer when one of the men, P. M., passed by. I said, “How do you feel?” I thought this was appropriately sensitive. But he replied indignantly: “Well not that good, right?”