Thursday, May 9, 2013

the last book I ever read (Remembering Denny by Calvin Trillin, excerpt three)

from Remembering Denny by Calvin Trillin:

In the days that followed the item in the Times, there was a lot of phone calling. It soon became apparent that it had been years since any of Denny’s Yale friends had spent an evening with him or sat down at a meal with him. Some of the discussion on the phone, of course, was about what had gone wrong. Joe Clayton, one of Denny’s Yale roommates, said to me that he sometimes though that Denny had been pushed too far at Yale—by those who saw his promise, and by himself (“This has to do with honors, expectations, and nonfulfillment.”) Several people I spoke to reported mentioning Denny’s death to friends or acquaintances and listening in return to a story of some other collegiate superhero who eventually dropped out of sight or ended up filling a sinecure in the company of a sympathetic classmate or is at this moment quietly drinking himself to death in a New Jersey suburb—versions of the football hero in Irwin Shaw’s “The Eighty Yard Run” who could never live up to that bright and shining moment.

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