An Irishman in Taiwan

Classic Pop

Eric Bauer is our featured writer today, NPL readers. He brings us a thoughtful story about the death of a young English teacher abroad… An Irishman in Taiwan.


At the morgue, Liam’s his head was blue and veiny and his mouth open and his eyes shut. The tattoo on his shoulder had been pulled away with the flesh of his arm and then sewn up in great bandages like something out of Egypt, a place he always wanted to visit. He seemed to be turning sideways, jeering at something just out of sight and when we walked around his body and peered in, we felt the coldness of his skin rising up to us like the open door of a freezer so that we pulled back sharp, the formaldehyde and ice tickling our noses, and seeing one another with the same looks, the same failure to view our dead friend this one last time, a shame settled over our heads that made us cagey and awkward until someone reached out, a hand on a shoulder then another and another until the five of us were interlaced like a braid and we could stand there again and see him and just let it be.


Thank you to for the unbelievable photo.