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14 THE MINNESOTA REVIEW PAULSTVINCENT PHILPOT This morning Philpot has a runny eye. His glasses are already too thick for comfort. Last week's visit to the optician did nothing about the run. Perhaps he should have mentioned it. But he couldn't be sure: do you go to an optician with a thing like this—or to a woman? It was embarrassing not knowing at his age. So he tries not to think of his rheumatism, of his next birthday. He'll be all right: don't think the water running down his cheek, is tears. ST VINCENT 15 PHILPOT UNFIT FOR ACTIVE SERVICE Another man would have kicked the T.V. set in or killed the wife, though he suspected that to be a rumour. Another man would reminisce about his war and use patronage and gratitude to run a second wife, a younger home. Broken, Philpot looked back in longing to the Middle Ages ofhis youth where dreaming was a sin a bright boy might commit— the touch of something smooth, skin unblemished by sores and evidence of rough times. He had grown ugly waiting for the compensation he was due; and if the world continued to cheat him of it, well, the wife would have to pay again. ...


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pp. 14-15
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