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2004-11-17

Patrick Henry
B. 5.29.1736 Hanover County, Virginia / D. 6.6.1799 Red Hill Plantation, Virginia
Cancer

It occurs to me that my daily intention to write an obituary that night might be causing me to have a morbid personality disorder. By day I sit and work and try to take a walk and all the time I brood about death.
How to choose?
Really, how to choose with so many deaths starred in red on my list of deaths to do? And unfortunately itís not like you ever run up against a shortage of brand-new material making more or less reasonable demands for precedence. Almost by definition, the labor Iíve chosen is way, way behind schedule, even if I did it every day; and with this morbid personality disorder itís given me, Iím lucky to top out at once a week.
How to choose?
What is it anyway with this sorry crop of human beings, these present generations? Starting with mine! So weak, so self-indulged, grasping and frail do I feel myself as representative by contrast with Balzac, for instance, or Proust.
How to choose?
I mean Iím not well, so I watch television. I donít have cable, so I watch some network shows, all of which seem to have the same morbid personality disorder I do. Whenever they want to be something they throw in a death, and the rest of the time theyíre just trivial. Sometimes they have to be big shots and kill off a regularó
How to choose?
ówhich even though you know itís either drugs on the set or a bigger contract elsewhere, can make you cry. Thatís an hour. 60 sweet morbid minutes, like a six-tray of oven-bake sweet rolls, with icing: like I in my personalityís disordered state could resist getting sticky.
How to choose?
Plus my chronic morbid disappointment over what I did the night before has its dampening effect upon a none-too-robust creative flame. Darkness falls and the gaslight comes up, but so dimly. I make notes and false starts. I make mistakes and catch myself in lies that eat up time. I weave fogs. I braid notebook pages into fetters that trail me into bed unless I clip them
like so.

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