Just stumbled upon this essay by comedian Steve Martin about his father. Here’s a good bit:
But as my father ailed he grew even more irritable. He made unreasonable demands, such as waking his twenty-four-hour nurse at three in the morning and insisting that she take him for a drive. He also became heartrendingly emotional. He might be in the middle of a story and begin to laugh, which then provoked sudden tears, and he would be unable to continue. These poignant moments became more frequent. Sometimes his eyes filled for no reason at all, and he would look down to hide his face.
We convinced him that he should visit a shrink, even though therapy did not fit his definition of manhood–fashioned in Texas, during the Depression. The therapist was a callow young man, a recent graduate. My father and I went together on one visit and talked out a few things in an emotionally charged hour, and I still regret how much we said in front of this stranger.
He’s a great, under-appreciated writer. I recommend is play “Picasso at the Lapin Agile.” It’s humorous and thought-provoking. Plus, it’s not often you see Picasso, Einstein and Elvis in the same play.