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November 10, 2003

Painfully Desperate

Arch Intern Med. 2003;163(20):2417-2418. doi:10.1001/archinte.163.20.2417

ANOTHER disfiguring surgery. More bandages, more salves, more fear. Why never more help with all the pain? After months of needless suffering, my best friend of 14 years was finally too sick for any more treatment. I couldn't stand to see him suffer any longer, so one day, in August, I came up with a plan. We'd trade the usual follow-up visit for something that always used to lift our spirits. Old cans, empty bottles, gun oil, several boxes of ammunition, some chewing tobacco—our preshooting ritual was complete. So, as always, we walked into the woods behind my house. The heat blurred the distant fields as grasshoppers and cicadas clicked loudly. A couple of white cabbage moths fluttered in the goldenrod. Far away a crow called.

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