It’s comments like this that sum up a few of the qualities that I really admired about Christopher Hitchens.
One of our lunches, at Café Milano, the Rick’s Café of Washington, began at 1 P.M., and ended at 11:30 P.M. At about nine o’clock (though my memory is somewhat hazy), he said, “Should we order more food?” I somehow crawled home, where I remained under medical supervision for several weeks, packed in ice with a morphine drip. Christopher probably went home that night and wrote a biography of Orwell. His stamina was as epic as his erudition and wit.
I came to Hitchen’s writings late in my life (and even later in his, it has sadly turned out), but I stand in awe of the man’s wit, intelligence, style and turn of phrase. A giant of a man, in all senses of the word. We are genuinely worse off as a culture without him and there really aren’t that many people you can say that about.
I’m really very sorry I never got to meet him. It will stand as a regret of my life. Sometimes these things are not meant to be, but I am fairly certain from his writings and his bombast that we would have got on. Of course, now I’ll never know.