October 28, 2013: he’d heard of the death of Lou Reed at seventy-one on the very day he’d resolved to yet again try a spell of sobriety. He didn’t of course confuse sobriety with sanity. The nondrinking patches he’d endured simply seemed to spotlight his areas of madness in stark relief. Unlike madness, Death was a Lover that promised you everything, and gave you absolutely nothing. At least in madness one suffers nothingness as laughter rather than sorrow, if you’re lucky.