I didn’t know David Rakoff well, but that didn’t matter. Whenever I ran into him, always in the Village, he made me feel like a long lost friend. That was just one of his great gifts. And when we promised we would get together, have lunch, in that beautifully insincere New York way, that was okay, too. Because David made you feel so good and laugh so hard in those ten or so minutes that you chatted, you felt this crazy love and inexplicable closeness to someone you later realized you didn’t know all that well. Once, when I asked how his writing was going, he said it like pulling pulling teeth, then his famously arched eyebrow preparing the punchline: out of his dick. I thought he said this spontaneously, just to me. Later, I would learn that this was one of his signature lines. Author, actor, mime, wit, clown, deeply subversive, elegant, and though he would hate to hear me say it because it sounds so pretentious, profound.
This morning I read this article about him and I couldn’t stop crying. He died a year ago, on my birthday. There is no connection in that tragic coincidence. And yet I grasp for anything, astonished that we are mourning him at 47. That his greatest work is being published posthumously. So when I cry and whimper about how poorly my own work is going, at least for now I will try to remember that I have the opportunity to try harder, that I have life in me, and health. That every mundane task is something I can appreciate, like this morning, doing the laundry, separating the dark from the light.
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