All thirty of us sit at folding tables covered in plastic in Oscar’s hot, unfinished basement. Pipes emerge from the boiler in the back corner. One of them runs the length of the basement over our heads.
We eat Mariscara—a paella with lobster in a red sauce sans the rice; barbequed chicken with shoe-string French fries; suckling pig. We drink homemade red table wine, expresso and chock-full-of-nuts French roast; Brandy, port, lager and champagne. All to celebrate Oscar’s fiftieth birthday.
Planned by his wife and oldest daughter, both of whom he hasn’t spoken to for at least a week.
crunch of footsteps
on his snow-covered walkway
silent ride home
Photograph by Sebastiaan ter Burg