Fiction | November 08, 2019

The trouble for Dr. Kappelschnitzer started with the obituary:

        Shirley Kappelschnitzer, 67, beloved wife of Arnold. Life commemoration:

        Tuesday, April 9, 11 a.m., at Temple Beth Or. Interment private. In lieu of

        flowers, contributions to the New York Botanical Gardens.

He’d read the obituary in the Times that morning—in his sixties, he’d started perusing the death notices, just as he’d once teased his own mother for doing—and the name had startled him, although Arnold Kappelschnitzer, MD, PhD, retired navy commander and chief of endocrinology at Mount Hebron Medical Center, was not a man easily startled. He’d believed himself to be the planet’s only living Kappelschnitzer, at least since his late sister had married. The peculiar name, whose origins were long lost, meant “hat carver” in Yiddish, although “carving hats” was obviously not an occupation. But Kappelschnitzer had never married.

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