to Myron

Confirmation imparts an indelible character by reason of which the sacrament cannot be received again by the same person. –the Catholic Encyclopedia

Around the long table the salad passed, simple greens in olive oil and balsamic, rough torn leaves, served with a long handled pair of wooden tongs.

The radio blared from the kitchen. “Can’t we turn that off?” complained Joel, helping himself from the bowl. He turned his face, crabbed now with ill-temper, toward the noise, and let the tongs hang slack above his plate. One long arm swung down and dripped the dressing upon his hand. He didn’t notice.

“Philistine,” Mike Bishop said cheerily. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime performance.”

“I don’t care.” Joel absently wiped his hand off. “It’s too loud.”

The salad passed between them and Bishop soothed the older man. They had to lean their heads together to be heard over the roar of conversation.

“I’m glad your daughter could make it this year,” said Bishop. “I’ve been wanting to meet her.”

“She’s a foolish chit, but she’s loyal, I’ll say that.” For a moment the lines around his mouth relaxed and he looked almost boyish again.

“Takes after her father, I guess,” said Mike, and tapped his friend lightly on the cheek.