There was some talk about the fate of Lou Gehrig, struck down in the midst of his career by another incurable disease in 1939. There were similarities, to be sure—a young man and a sad fate—but this was very much different. Gehrig was a name in the newspaper, a remote speck on a baseball diamond. Technology has brought a universal intimacy. Magic is here. Magic is now. Magic is us.
We sit around and talk some more in quiet voices. A clock ticks in the background. The smallest pieces of life suddenly seem out of kilter. A 20th-century plague has hit our home.