A few years ago my husband and I attended an atheist convention in DC. “The Four Horsemen”, Hitchens, Harris, Dawkins and Dennett were in attendance, as was Ayaan Hirsi Ali, so it was a sold out affair. On the second morning we were told there was no room in the main hall and that we would be watching Christopher Hitchens, as well as Ayaan Hirsi Ali speak via closed circuit TV in a nearby room. I was disappointed, but we had been able to watch Dawkins, Dennett and Harris the night before, so we made the most of it.
Later that day there was a book signing with Hitchens and Hirsi Ali (they were good friends). Again I was disappointed when Hirsi Ali’s book turned out to be sold out. I gamely lined up anyway, so I could meet them both. When I arrived at the table we spoke for a few minutes. When Hitch learned that we had not been able to watch their talks “live” he was genuinely outraged on my behalf. We’d paid good money and booked the convention early, but luck of the draw meant we didn’t get main hall seats. He found it unacceptable and told me so. He was also irritated that they had run out of Hirsi Ali’s book. My entire conversation with him consisted of him, this great brilliant man, telling me, a stupid writer of pointless children’s books, how unfair it was that I had to sit in another room.
He tolerated no injustice, no matter how small.
There are about a million brilliant words floating around today, not sure what to do with themselves, now that Hitch has laid down his pen. I only hope one or two of them one day drift my way. If I ever write anything even 1% as brilliant as everything he wrote, I will be proud to call myself a writer.