When I was just eight or nine my father--already a denizen of the ad business--had a massive heart attack. Moreso than today, back in 1966 or 1967, a heart attack was close to being a death sentence. A lot of men didn't make it back home from the hospital. Or if they did make it home, it was home to die.
That memory has loomed over me my whole life.
You don't get used to it.
This will be my last post for a while. Because we're at the end of the year and because I've found out over the last couple of days that two people close to me are either no more or about to be no more.
One is my oldest and dearest friend. A person I've known since we were ninth-graders. And fifty years later, we're still kindred. And kin.
His wife just called.
This looks like it.
I've always had a way with words. I've always been attuned to them and I've always believed in their power.
But there are times--many times, actually--when words are feeble instruments. They are as effective in holding back the pain as King Canute was in holding back the sea.
I have nothing to say now.
But I still have my eidetic memory--which includes about 20 to 30 poems I can call on when I need them. They, too are like dear friends.
This, by Ernest Dowson.
They Are Not Long
They are not long, the weeping and the laughter,
Love and desire and hate;
I think they have no portion in us after
We pass the gate.
They are not long, the days of wine and roses,
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.