Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Roger Ebert: Remaking my voice
This is long but truly amazing - Roger Ebert speaks about re-finding his voice after losing his ability to speak. Ebert lost his lower jaw to cancer something like four years ago, and hasn't been able to speak or eat since. According to an article in Esquire, he doesn't remember the last thing he ate, the last thing he drank, the last words he said. How very strange that his last meal was probably bland hospital food.
I always saw him as gruff and unpleasant. Has he changed, or has my perception? Is it simply the fact that his face is stuck in that strange grin he's wearing?
There's a line in the Nick Hornby/Ben Folds song Doc Pomus about the blues singer who went by that name that goes "And he could never be one of those happy cripples. The kind that smile and tell you life's okay. He was mad as hell; frightened and bitter..."
I wonder if people like Roger Ebert go home and feel like Doc Pomus. How much is genuine sentiment and how much is just the facade you put on to keep yourself sane and keep your friends comfortable?
Did Lou Gehrig really consider himself the "luckiest man on the face of the earth"? Or did he go home and bawl and pray for God to take it all away? Did part of him wonder if he convinced the world and himself that he had accepted his fate, God would let him off the hook, like he did Abraham? Did he think about killing himself, as so many people with ALS seem to do?
Does Michael J Fox cry himself to sleep at night? Did Christopher Reeves play his accident over and over in his mind and wish desperately he'd never gotten on that horse? Does Roger Ebert curse God every morning?
at 11:04 PM