'One Last Swirl' | Modern Love 2

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(Brian Rea for The New York Times)
(Brian Rea for The New York Times)

We all project our issues on others, right? Onto our friends, family and coworkers.

This Modern Love story is about a man projecting his deepest emotions onto his pet — not a dog or cat but a fish! Yes, a fish. But don’t be misled, this story is about a lot more than a dying pet. Dan Barry’s beautiful essay “Just One Last Swirl Around the Bowl” takes us on a deep emotional journey all the while prompting us to think about our own mortality.

This week’s essay is narrated by Jason Alexander and written by Barry.

More on the voices in this episode

Jason Alexander is best known for his role as George Costanza in the iconic ’90s sitcom “Seinfeld,” but the actor also has extensive experience on Broadway and in the standup world. You can see him on tour this spring with upcoming live shows in Phoenix and Cincinnati.

Dan Barry (Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times)

Dan Barry (Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times)

Dan Barry is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and reporter for The New York Times and the author of four books, including the forthcoming “The Boys in the Bunkhouse: Servitude and Salvation in the Heartland.” Set to be released in May 2016, the book tells the story of dozens of men with intellectual disability who spent decades working at an Iowa turkey-processing plant, enduring exploitation and abuse — before finding justice and achieving freedom.

Barry is currently the “This Land” columnist for the Times, and has reported extensively on many topics, including the World Trade Center disaster and its aftermath, and the damage to the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He has also been the City Hall bureau chief, the Long Island bureau chief, a sportswriter, a general assignment reporter and, for three years, the “About New York” columnist — all for the Times.

Barry has also written “Pull Me Up: A Memoir, City Lights: Stories About New York,” a collection of his “About New York” columns; and “Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption, and Baseball’s Longest Game,” which received the 2012 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing.

Grace Barry sits across from her father Dan Barry during a recording session for the Modern Love podcast. (Courtesy of Dan Barry)

Grace Barry sits across from her father Dan Barry during a recording session for the Modern Love podcast. (Courtesy of Dan Barry)

Barry grew up on Long Island and has lived in Maplewood, New Jersey, since 1999. He and his wife Mary Trinity have two daughters, Nora and Grace.

Let us know what you think of this episode.  Like Modern Love on Facebook or follow Dan Jones at @danjonesNYT or Meghna Chakrabarti at @MeghnaWBUR.

Special thanks to BSX Records for permission to use Mark Northam’s arrangement of “The Theme from Love Story.” You can find it on iTunes.

Original music for this episode was also provided by Mike Moschetto.

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