Measured Extravagance

10 September 2003 - 11:38 p.m.

I know it's standard practice for newspapers to commission obituaries of noteworthy (and/or notorious, take your pick) individuals long before they meet their Maker, but it's still a trifle disconcerting to notice that the author of Edward Teller's New York Times tribute predeceased him by nine years.

To speak to you, the dead of September, I must not claim false intimacy or summon an overheated heart glazed just in time for a camera.

I must be steady and I must be clear, knowing all the time that I have nothing to say--no words stronger than the steel that pressed you into itself; no scripture older or more elegant than the ancient atoms you have become.

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