When I look back at my life, there is a period of time that sticks up like a splinter when you run your hand down a hard-wood banister worn smooth and creamy by the flesh and oil of decades, a century of touch. My life has not been simple or naïve, but the chaos has been largely of my own creation, or a reaction to the misdeeds of others. There has been a certain consistency of self-sufficiency. I have always been in control of myself, have always had choices.

To some degree my entire life has been an exercise in ingenuity, in terms of my livlihood. To some degree, I have always been at a loose end, since I lost my vocation in Dallas, since I became a sporting man with neither home nor visible means of support.

Nevertheless, save for the time of my illness in Leadville, there has always been the possibility of dignity. I am inclined to say I am ashamed, but I do not believe in shame. I can still say I did my best, but I was helpless, and my own devices did not sustain me.
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Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 936
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