Monday, January 24, 2005


Once when we were in college we were running the dorm during the summer to host a conference of some kind. We had been told not to help anyone with their bags. A woman arrived with her daughter of perhaps seven and presented us her bags, saying without preamble: "My daughter has a fatal, incurable disease called XXX..." (I don't remember what it was) "...and so I think we deserve that you will carry our bags upstairs." She seemed annoyed.

I was then, and still am, a radical in many ways, and so I remained seated, and just looked at her. One of the other, more dutiful students (I think it was a girl), hopped up and carried the woman's bags.

"I know she was mean," said the dutiful one later, "but that poor kid."

Knowing what I know now, even after my ALS experience, if you made me 20 again, I still wouldn't carry that woman's bags an inch. Not one inch.

I have a real, involuntary cough now, but it has not gotten to the burning or hurting stage yet.
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