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"Indeed, the rage of theorists to make constitutions a vehicle for the conveyance of their own crude, and visionary aphorisms of government, requires to be guarded against with the most unceasing vigilance."
     -- Joseph Story
     Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States
     Book III, § 1857.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

There is no worse hell than outliving your children.

I just got back from a funeral for one of the kids in the neighborhood. Jared used to be one of my informal piano students; he'd drop by every once in a while over the years to show off what he was working on, and I'd give him pointers on performance. To judge by appearances, he was just an ordinary teenager, just noodling around, without much in the way of direction in his life, but he must have been working really hard on the piano, because every time he showed up he'd be a lot farther along than I was expecting. Several persons at his service commented on how well he played; that and his fluency in Spanish appear to have covered all the accomplishments anyone could remember, all that he had to carry him through life. It cannot have been easy for him when his father announced to his stepmother a little more than a year ago, I want a divorce, and you're moving out, because, well, this is my partner, and he's moving in; it cannot have helped things that the piano went out the door with his stepmother. I last saw Jared when I took the family out for dinner at Chili's a while back; he was waiting tables. He told us he wasn't playing piano any more, but he seemed cheerful enough. Anyway, he overdosed on methadone sometime Friday night; he was twenty-three.

-- posted by Clayton 5/03/2005 05:09:00 PM

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