Cole Swensen

defoe’s story

It took place in London at the end of the 17th century—a man was spending the evening at home, thinking often of a friend of his, a woman who was very ill, worrying about her, hoping she would live, when there was a knock on the door, and she entered, looking fine, thriving in fact, and sat down in a normal way and began a normal conversation, though she seemed a little more serious than usual until he began to cry, at which she continued quietly, discussing things of the soul, aspects of time, and he began to sob, and she continued speaking quietly, as he sobbed and sobbed, and when he finally looked up she was gone.

This story is not unusual and belongs to a subgenre in which the dead person seems to drop in on a few old friends on the way out, giving no indication that he or she has died, but stays and speaks, saying the clear water at the bottom of my hand will make a turn and my hand will go bottomless like a mirror forgets my face at the slightest glance there was a man standing beside

the clear waterpooled in the rock beneath a tree. The bright leavestore up the light
you would have seenthat he was part of the lightand asked him to help me climb down