A man rows his boat along a waterway, traveling to pay his last respects to the family of a deceased friend. He envisions a woman standing on the bank as he approaches his destination and he imagines what their conversations would be lack, a connection with some other being that he seems to clearly long for, longs for to the point of hallucinating.
The story ends with no resolution other than that the reader is left to be content with this man's madness. We are content with it because we understand it, the solitude that drives one to see things that aren't there.
Even in its translation from the original French, this story is beautiful and a delight to read.