On Wednesday, a 26-year-old game programmer in London walked into his boss's office and closed the door. The Duke is dead, he said. I'm sorry, I think I need to be at home today. The boss nodded gravely. I understand, he said, take all the time you need. Cleaning his glasses on his shirt, the programmer confessed: I really didn't think this would affect me so much. The boss told him that it was perfectly fine to feel this way, and said he would see him on Monday. The programmer thanked him and headed for the door. His hand trembled on the doorknob.
On Thursday, a 33-year-old art director in Boston drove to a quarry with his buddies. There, they drained cheap cans of beer and hurled them at the horizon. After three hours, the art director tore off his shirt and climbed up on the roof of his black Dodge Rampage. Nothing matters anymore, he yelled, and emptied the clip of a compact handgun into the air. Shortly thereafter, he was arrested. As the cops slapped on handcuffs and ushered him into the back of the police car, he yelled: what's up, you pigs gonna give me a hard time? One of the cops leaned close to his ear and whispered: not tonight.
On Friday, a 42-year-old executive producer in Texas took his young son to view the funeral procession. They watched the horses, the marching band and the police escort file past the crowds, and the producer hoped for a glimpse of the casket. His son tugged at his hand. This is boring, he said, why does everyone care so much? The producer looked down at him and said it was one of those things he would understand when he was older.