The second of five vignettes.
He lived alone in various houses, and moved from one to the next in response to no discernible stimulus. I assumed that, at some point, he felt it was just “time to move.”
He had lost his first wife, and their young daughter to cancer. And he told me that the terrible thing was not that they were dead, but that they stayed dead. I thought of it often, and think of it oftener since his death.
I’d had a cold and was sleeping in the little guest cubby in the eaves of the attic, and I woke up with an intolerable pain in my chest.
I knew I was dying, and thought, Well, this is a heart attack. It subsided, and I went back to sleep, only to be struck, again, some time later. The next morning a mutual friend called to tell me that Shel had died the night before of a heart attack—in fact, of two heart attacks, some minutes apart.
My wife sent me to have my heart checked out, and its only defect was that it was broken. Read More