The Evils of Spain by V.S. Pritchett
A group of old men meet for a meal and remember the day years ago when one of them nearly drowned. The story is a babble of their exuberant, affectionate and chastising voices, arguing over food, over the placement of their table, over their memories, as they retell the tale of Angel’s near-death experience, a story they must have relived at every reunion, time and time again. This is a melancholy and tender elegy for youth, and as the story finishes we want to stay at their table, silent and enrapt, as they ask Angel to explain about the pyjamas.