RIP Anthony Bourdain

Another hero lost. This one by his own demons. This one hit me hard. This one could be a mirror.


I never met the guy. Although it is rumored that I’m in the background of a scene shot for one of his shows at Desmond’s Tavern in NYC. A place that apparently we both spent a lot of time at many moons ago.

This however has neither been bunked nor debunked.

Anyway…

Anthony Bourdain…

He grew up in Leonia, NJ. Not too far from where I grew up. He was 10 years my senior and — as I stated — I never met him. But in his writing and TV persona, I found a kind of kindred spirit. There was that relatable, irreverent snark of a Jersey kid working in the big city. The exposing of fears and joys and love and hate for all to see. The torture of creativity as therapy. He was an influence on me for sure.

Recently I’ve lamented my lack of creative output outside of sandwiches and salads. I’ve missed the process of writing, of bloodletting on paper (well … keyboard) to cast out demons. When I heard the news of his passing today, I realized just how much I need to write in order to live.

And if it is true that this man of such enormity lost his battles with demons and gave in to the unthinkable, then it is even more urgent that I step up my own fight.

I need to bleed again.

I need to expose myself again.

I need to …

I won’t ever try to judge a person who found themselves on the edge of a cliff and chose to cast themselves off rather than turning to continue the fight. I’ve been on that cliff. The temptation to give up is unbearable sometimes.

I’m lucky to have family and friends who have tethered me to reality. Showing me love. Showing me life. It is not lost on me that not everyone has that.

So as I mourn the loss of yet another hero, my request to you is to reach out to loved ones. Hug tightly. Love fully. And if you know someone who may be on that cliff, throw them a line.

And if you should find yourself on that cliff, please reach out. Someone will be there to grab you. I promise. No one is ever truly alone.

One love.

One heart.

Cheers!
Stephen


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