Millions of people die every day. Everyone's got to go sometime. I've came by this particular tumor honestly. If you smoke, which I did for many years very heavily with occasional interruption, and if you use alcohol, you make yourself a candidate for it in your sixties.
When I meet people who say - which they do all of the time - 'I must just tell you, my great aunt had cancer of the elbow and the doctors gave her 10 seconds to live, but last I heard she was climbing Mount Everest,' and so forth, I switch off quite early.
When Caroline Kennedy managed to say 'you know' more than 200 times in an interview with the New York 'Daily News,' and on 130 occasions while talking to 'The New York Times' during her uninspired attempt to become a hereditary senator, she proved, among other things, that she was (a) middle-aged and (b) middle class.
There's a big difference, as I'm sure you know, it's a slightly manneristic one, between people of the '60s and people of '68. Being a soixante-huitard - it's so nice to have a French word for it - is very different from just having happened to been a baby boomer in the '60s.
I'm not resigned, but I'm realistic too. The statistics in my case are very poor. Not many people come through esophageal cancer and live to talk about it, or not for long. And the other wager is, the part of the wager, it's a certainty you'll have a terrible time and you may wish you were dying because it's an awful process.
Well, I'm in my 60s now. I finally look it, I think. People until I was 60 would always say they thought I looked younger, which I think, without flattering myself, I did, but I think I certainly have, as George Orwell says people do after a certain age, the face they deserve.
WASP' is the only ethnic term that is in fact a term of class, apart from redneck, which is another word for the same group but who are in the lower social strata, so it's inexplicably tied up with social standing and culture and history in a way that the other hyphenations just are not.