One afternoon at a bus stop in Ruston, Louisiana we picked up a single passenger, a huge man in a dirty plaid shirt, grease-stained khakis, and unlaced boots covered in mud.
We’ve been talking about the muse up until this point, today—how I don’t believe in such a thing. This stings their sensibilities. The bee in the classroom is a happy distraction.
Worst I had to deal with, well, I suppose that time my son was shut in a padded room and shit himself at the special needs school. He was 13 and having one helluva wiring crisis. I got called to come get him after he graffitied his feces across white walls.
Their prose often stood head and shoulders above the standard freshman drivel, exhibiting a certain rigor of thought and depth of feeling that perhaps comes from having witnessed whole anthologies of trauma—entire villages razed by fire, wide-eyed children draped in gore, wives screaming beside mutilated husbands.
While Fussell wrote on a wide variety of subjects over his long life—ranging from Augustan humanism, Samuel Johnson, and Kingsley Amis to the 2nd Amendment, the Indianapolis 500, and travel in between-the-wars Europe—war, the irony of war, the suffering and lunacy and permanent damage of war, the unfairness of war, lay at the heart of his writing and of his being.