attention must be paid
"There were promises made across this desk! You mustn't tell me you've got people to see - I put thirty-four years into this firm. ... and now I can't pay my insurance! You can't eat the orange and throw the peel away - a man is not a piece of fruit!

"Funny, y'know? After all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments, and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive."

— Willy Loman


playwright arthur miller died. the first thing i remembered about him is that even as he was uncomfortable wedded to marilyn monroe, he loved her, and that later he had a daughter by a photographer, whose strange name was... i think inge, like ingenue (it's inge morath). the next was whether he wrote "a streetcar named desire," but of course, he didn't.

and then how, in one of my first literature classes, we'd settled that Everyman should be lauded a hero as well; he's meaningful to a mere handful of people, but then in real life, how many more people do you expect to be intricately connected to?

every space touched by that meaningful person in your life becomes paradise.

business is business, there's nothing personal about it until money is involved. money and the time you put in. and yet time is a person's most precious commodity.

and we came up with a handful other cliches of the downtrodden before learning that arthur miller was married to marilyn monroe and whether their divorce had something to do with her killing herself shortly thereafter.

as students, we knew nothing then of insurance and pensions, of medical leaves and of counting the vacations days entitled to us, because taking any more than the alloted is grounds for your firing; we didn't know of stealth that will allow you to make critical phone calls during lunch breaks or make quiet runs to buildings and clandestinely courier documents so sensitive, they make targets of you in the streets of chicago. it isn't risking your life, but it is putting it in danger, and we didn't know then that there are a hundred things asked of you that aren't at all worth even a moment's glance of your time.

arthur miller died thursday of congestive heart failure in his connecticut home. he was 89. he didn't consider 'death of a salesman' his best effort (he has better regard for 'the crucible'), but willy loman's plight shook the minds of teenagers coming to grips with our own fates, lest we fall into that yawning chasm of failure and obscurity at our feet. attention must be paid. and it was.
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