i can see the worst all right — the earth exploding in some climactic chain reaction and all of us going off sparking out at the same time and i think i am going to like it if it happens that way after all we’ll be learning something together something massive that we’ve been trying to understand for a while and in that final sparking and arcing of the earth’s blow-up we’ll finally get it we’ll understand
Cancer, which had begun to affect as many as one in four, was a disease whereby an essentially weak, immature, dysfunctional cell invaded and occupied surrounding territories, dislocating the inhabitants, destroying the territory, devouring the resources, providing no exchange whatsoever until the entire territory was devastated and the inhabitants died of starvation, suffocation or toxicity. This dread disease became endemic to the second half of the twentieth century as tuberculosis had been in Europe in the nineteenth, and the plague earlier. Ironically, cancer, which perfectly mirrored imperialism, became through its proliferation the agency of spiritual and social — and therefore political — conversion.
Tuesday, at Gethsemane, was transfer day and when the bus arrived, the yard was invariably packed with men curious to see who was coming and going or to see one of their old partners passing through. The men scheduled to leave were already lined up at the gate with the usual effects: a roll of gray bedclothes, cigar boxes, a few books, a carton of cigarettes.