‘O Says I Must Keep a Journal’: Bill Hayes’s Diary of Loving Oliver Sacks

Photo by Luigi Novi (CC BY 3.0)

BuzzFeed has a touching, intimate excerpt of Insomniac City: New York, Oliver and Me, Bill Hayes’s memoir of his relationship with late neuroscientist and author Oliver Sacks.

10-13-16

I, soaking in the bath, O on the toilet, talking, talking about what he’s been thinking and writing — short personal pieces, for a memoir perhaps. He had brought with him two pillows to sit on and a very large red apple. He opens his mouth wide and takes a gigantic bite. I watch him chewing for quite a while. After he finishes, “Bite me off a piece,” I say. He does so, dislodges the apple from his mouth, and puts the piece in my mouth. We keep talking. I add more hot water. Every other bite, he gives to me.

There is a quiet moment and then, seemingly apropos of nothing, O says: “I am glad to be on planet Earth with you. It would be much lonelier otherwise.”

I reach for his hand and hold it.

“I, too,” I say.

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