Story
Five
Louis Dudek in the living room of his home on Ingleside Avenue, Westmount, October 2000

Louis Dudek received me as he sat at the head of a long dining room table. He wore a necktie and four layers of clothing and he
hovered over a chessboard, playing out both sides of a famous match from a book whose title was Meet the Masters. His manner
toward me was teasing and a little prickly. He was testing both my knowledge and my intelligence. After he had relaxed, he told
me that he was gravely ill and that keeping his spirits up was a battle. Then he sent me to his upstairs bathroom to look at a
shower curtain printed with black and white publicity stills of movie stars from the nineteen-thirties and forties. "I've taken much
comfort from that," he said. When I asked him if he would wrap it around himself for a photograph, to my astonishment, he
agreed, but then decided his wife wouldn't like it. Toward the end of our meeting, all the energy left his body. "I'm just like Pierre
Trudeau was," he said. "Waiting to die."
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