Being Friends with Oliver Sacks

Lawrence Weschler at The Believer:

I had just turned twenty-nine and he was forty-eight when we first met out there on City Island, but I quickly realized that he would make a wonderful subject for one of those multi-part profiles the magazine was famous for in those days, and across the next four years, I took on the role of a sort of beanpole Sancho to his capacious Quixote, traipsing about with him on his various rounds and travels, chronicling his in those days floridly neurotic ramblings, indeed, filling up over fifteen notebooks full of them, interviewing his friends and patients and earlier associates, and off to the side, trying to help him through that epic blockage, which, curiously, took the form of graphomania: he’d generated millions of words, just not the right ones, and, for his editors and me, most of the at times Sisyphean work consisted in pruning the damn thing back and then preventing him from mischiefing it yet further.

In addition, much of our growing friendship involved his trying to scandalize me with the horrible blight, as he saw it, of the fact that he was a (deeply closeted) homosexual. Actually, in fact, he had been celibate at that point for almost fifteen years (following a brief and vivid drug-fueled flowering during his medical residencies in California back in the early sixties) and would continue to be so for another twenty. 

more here.

Like what you're reading? Don't keep it to yourself!
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Reddit
Reddit
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email