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7 Discovery Yes, it may be true, suffering brings knowledge, but last week I watched my friend as he saw the honor he thought he’d earned bestowed upon his colleague, and his eyes went blank as a hooked trout’s as he saw himself shrinking to a footnote in his friend’s biography. He paced his cell, dividing it in half, that half in half again, his future shrinking more the more he paced it. I have seen the desperation at fifty, what no one talks about, when men have run out their strings, when they are as good as they will ever be, their houses on fire, their hopes burning like oil rags. It is a luxury, his kind of pain, what most people can’t even dream of, his wife and children safe, plenty to eat, but still, it’s pain. The man who won grew generous, sounded wisdom like the ocean, treated us to champagne, grew taller. My friend stood smiling, unbelieving, waiting to feel like a man who has lost a leg, balancing in a landscape with no clear horizon. ...


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MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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