It’s not at all good when your cancer is “palpable” from the outside.
You don’t hear it about long-term sufferers from heart disease or kidney failure. I sometimes wish I were suffering in a good cause, or risking my life for the good of others, instead of just being a gravely endangered patient.
But for precisely that reason, I can’t see myself smiting my brow with shock or hear myself whining about how it’s all so unfair: I have been taunting the Reaper into taking a free scythe in my direction and have now succumbed to something so predictable and banal that it bores even me.
Rage would be beside the point for the same reason.
Instead, I am badly oppressed by a gnawing sense of waste. To read—if not indeed write—the obituaries of elderly villains like Henry Kissinger and Joseph Ratzinger?
I had real plans for my next decade and felt I’d worked hard enough to earn it. But I understand this sort of non-thinking for what it is: sentimentality and self-pity.