It was given to me, and it was a gift, an extraordinary gift, but it’s mine now. And the only reason that heart is beating, because I am keeping it alive. I’m keeping that part of that person, I know next to nothing about, alive. That’s what I’m doing for him. And he’s keeping me alive too in this form, but it’s my heart, he gave it to me.1
Maybe it gave me a pronounced sense of mortality, maybe even a pronounced sense of morbidity. I certainly have lived — well, I was living for a long time with a sense of eventuality that may have been more precise than I think maybe most people have. I mean it doesn’t seem that big of a deal to me, it’s just what it was, and what it is. Everybody has got some kind of bullshit baggage they’re carrying around with them. Everybody is living with a death sentence.
My father died when he was 49. I have outlived him by over 10 years now, mainly because of the drugs which weren’t available when he was alive, and this procedure that I’ve had, this radical, crazy, Aztec procedure I’ve had. But you know, it’s so — it is a part of who I am, and what my body is, and that I can’t — it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to me. It seemed fairly likely that I was going to die. But the thing about it was is that, I knew it. I’d been expecting it, not exactly dreading it, but I knew that, I knew the symptoms, I knew how it was going to go down.
It was a little depressing. But there wasn’t anything I could do about it. So, if there was, I just — I tried to keep working, I tried to keep writing.