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from yesterday’s journal

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(later)

I’ve just finished watching and listening to the third episode of a three-episode film by Ken Burns about the life of Ernest Hemingway.  I watched all three episodes though maybe could have done without the final episode.  My father looked like Hemingway, especially late in life.  Besides looks, something they shared was paranoia.  Or is it schizophrenia?  Both men were sure they were dogged by agents of the federal government.  Hemingway talked about the FBI.  My father about the CIA.

My dad died, and what killed him?  Organ dysfunction due to poisoning from alcohol?  Pneumonia?  I think pneumonia might have been the official cause.  He’d had melanoma and evidently beat it.  He had diabetes and beat that, too.  How an alcoholic can win out over diabetes is unclear to me.  He didn’t need to take the diabetes medication after a while.  There was a cancer on or in the brain that was being treated, evidently with success.

Hemingway we know, we believe we know—I mean no one else was there in the room—died by suicide.  By pressing the gun against his forehead and pushing the trigger.

I got the diabetes diagnosis recently.  I’m not sure what I should be doing about it, though I’m trying, well, to take in less sugar, not so much, that is, at least.  I’m not sure what else I should do.  Taking walks would be good, I’m sure.

I could end up diabetic, fat, grizzled, paranoic with delusions—and too weak to want to live.  I could die as these men died, one man all at once and the other by some arrangement of stages.  Both men declined physically, inwardly.  I’m struggling physically but trying to create.  To send something out.  I don’t know if I’m trying to stave off death by legacy.  To have and have not.  I started writing every day—and it wasn’t every day at first—simply to have something to do while recovering from surgery.  How the blog came to mind I do not know.  But it did, and I am thankful.

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C L Couch

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Hemingway, a film by Ken Burns

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By unattributed – Photograph by Mary Hemingway, in the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11539931

Ernest Hemingway at “La Consula”, Bill Davis’ estate in Spain, 1959.

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