He’s probably the smartest man in the world, and he’s dying.

Christopher Hitchens has made a career out of having a conversation that society tells us never to have. He talks religion, he talks politics, and lately he has been talking about the possibility of his own death from cancer. He recently said in an interview that when it does come time for him to pass how he would like to know it, experience it and be present for it. To me, that speaks of a spirit far greater than any I’ve known. He’s always sucked the meat of life from its bones and he intends to right to the very last second. I would love to tell him that I appreciate not just his library of work or his debates available for free on youtube, but his willingness to fight this disease, his interest in living every day with the strive to not only survive, but to change the prognosis and change the treatment and find a cure. He’s my hero. He’s probably the smartest man in the world and he’s dying. He’s dying with more dignity than most people live with. In a world where I can sometimes feel surrounded by idiots, a conversation with a bright mind can feel like a welcome respite. A conversation with Mr. Hitchens would be a sanctuary I could carry with me.