An essay by alum Marisa Silver (fiction, ’96) appears at The New Yorker:
He was gone. I heard the final, awful rattle, the ragged, gasping breath that I couldn’t help thinking was full of his angry, determined desire to beat this impossible thing that had happened to him. He’d taken a fall. He’d hit his head. Now he was dead.
When I’d first walked into the hospital room and saw him hooked up to all the machines that were doing his living for him, I’d had to resist my urge to yell at him to GET UP! I was sure that this is what he would have done had our roles been reversed; he would have believed that he could somehow argue, cajole, even berate me into recovery, as if my situation were simply the result of laziness or a lack of will. This was a man who, in his younger days (and in more innocent times), would routinely arrive late to the airport, run out on the tarmac and flag down the plane pulling out of the gate, a guy who’d climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro at seventy, who’d figured out how to produce films with not much more than a few dollars and a roll of duct tape….
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