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Sometimes these visitors would pause their fretting long enough ask how Dennis was, and he would tell them he was fine as briefly as he could because he knew they didn’t really care, or that they wanted to be quickly reassured he was okay enough to always be cemented where they could rely on him, so, in a way, their show of interest was a secret way of making sure he wasn’t doing all that well, because they actually wished the worst for him, or wished the worst that wouldn’t kill him.

I wished
Soho Press 2021