by Lydia Davis
Tomorrow I will be going into Rouen for a funeral. Madame Pouchet, the wife of a doctor, died the day before yesterday in the street. She was on horseback, riding with her husband; she had a stroke and fell from the horse. I’ve been told I don’t have much compassion for other people, but in this case, I am very sad. Pouchet is a good man, though completely deaf and by nature not very cheerful. He doesn’t see patients, but works in zoology. His wife was a pretty Englishwoman with a pleasant manner, who helped him a good deal in his work. She made drawings for him and read his proofs; they went on trips together; she was a real companion. He loved her very much and will be devastated by his loss. Louis lives across the street from them. He happened to see the carriage that brought her home, and her son lifting her out; there was a handkerchief over her face. Just as she was being carried like that into the house, feet first, an errand boy came up. He was delivering a large bouquet of flowers she had ordered that morning. O Shakespeare!