“nineteenth-century preacher henry ward beecher’s last words were “now comes the mystery.” the poet dylan thomas, who liked a good drink at least as much as alaska, said, “i’ve had eighteen straight whiskeys. i do believe that’s a record,” before dying. alaska’s favorite was playwright eugene o'neill: “born in a hotel room, and—god damn it—died in a hotel room.” even car-accident victims have time for last words. princess diana said, “oh god. what’s happened?” movie star james dean said, “they’ve got to see us,” just before slamming his porsche into another car. i know so many last words. but i will never know hers.”
- Looking For Alaska.