Hooker and Bear, best friends for 60 years, take a road trip on which each reveals a secret that changes the last acts of their lives.
I often think about Red Hooker. A man is not your closest friend for half a century without becoming a kind of spiritual appendage, a silent accomplice to everything you feel and do. We’d gone through significant deaths together (our parents) and five marriages and divorces (his advantage, 3-2). Even though we’d never lived in the same city until recently, we’d kept in constant contact on the phone and in letters from the day I got discharged from the Army shortly before him in 1959. We’d both served as Russian linguists in the Army Security Agency at the height of the Cold War.
Hooker and I regarded one another as brothers and were far closer than he was to his biological sibling. It...