The Knock

A friend has two jobs in our town: policeman and soldier. In both, he is the guy who knocks on doors to tell mothers and fathers, wives and husbands that their son or daughter, husband or wife is dead. He has to knock on a door five or six times a year. He has become a student of doors and how people open them.

First, you never bang on the door, even if you are knocking for the fifth time and have been freezing on the porch for...

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About the Author

Brian Doyle is the editor of Portland magazine at the University of Portland.