So Friday June 8th, 2018 was a sucky day. I was out driving my friends around and as I sat in a parking lot of a grocery store my friend, who’s always playing on his phone, tells me that Anthony Bourdain died. I was like “No way man. That’s got to be one of those fake news things.” He said he was pretty sure it was real.
When I finally got home that night I looked it up and sure enough it was all over the news that he truly had died. I was shocked to say the least. I only started watching him a few years ago but immediately fell in love with his imperfections, the way he spoke, looked and acted, his past, how he overcame his demons. He had visited a town that was only 15 mins away from where I lived shortly after I first started watching him but I didn’t go see him. I’m not a foodie and it was a foodie event. I just liked how he showed culture through the back streets of places that I know I’ll never get to visit.
I watched news broadcasts about him. Seen how his friends, co-workers, spoke about him. Apparently, how he acted on tv was the way he was in real life, there was nothing fake about him, he was so real all the time. I read about him. Found out that he had wrote some novels (I will eventually buy them and read them, just out of curiosity). And he wrote some books on food too. I like the way he spoke and broke the 4th wall. His narratives were dreamy. If the cinematography of his shows hadn’t been so awe inspiring I could have closed my eyes and just listened to him talk about what he was experiencing. He had a voice that, if he had recorded any audio books, I would have listened to them intentle. (I don’t like audio books, they become background noise, like music, and I end up thinking about something else other than what I’m listening to.)
Josh Gates and Anthony Bourdain are my modern day Indiana Jones’s. They go places and have adventures I only dream of. And since I dream of such adventures I had planned to write a story/novel about such adventures one day. I just have notes for now. And I make more notes as I watch their shows and read about them and places they’ve been as I know I’ll never get there to experience it myself.
When Josh Gates was new I was afraid he would stop being on air because of his newness and uniqueness but fortunately he keeps coming up with new shows on new channels and I get to keep watching. Unfortunately there will be no new Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown shows. He was so inspiring to me, I’ve DVR’d as many episodes as I can. For now I watch them in sadness. Eventually I’ll watch them again with the dreamyness of joining him and imagining what it would be like for me to be there with him as I did before.
Having read about Anthony Bourdain brought back memories from August 2014 when I found out that Robin Williams had passed away. I loved the movies of his that I have seen, and no I haven’t seen them all, yet. His humor made me laugh, not every comedian has that ability. I’m as much into comedy as I am a foodie (I screwed up jello the other day, apparently you can’t put jello in the freezer to make it set faster). I get odd looks from people when I try to be funny. These are not my things therefore I admire the people who have these talents. Each of these men had and has a way with words, facial expressions and body language that brought about many emotions in many people, me included. They were unique. They did their own thing. They were themselves. They took that risk (of being themselves) that put them out in front of people and people loved them for it.
In the days after Anthony Bourdain passed away I felt like writing a letter to Josh Gates to let him know how special he is to people. He’s more than just an entertainer, he is the embodiment of inspiration for so many. Like Anthony Bourdain, Josh Gates does an amazing narrative on his shows and occasionally also breaks the 4th wall as well. They both also show their crewe to us, once in a while, so we get that behind the scenes feel from an episode. Lots of people like to feel that they are getting that sneak peek at something others don’t get to see, it make us, the audience, feel special. But I never wrote that letter. I hope he’ll be ok. I’m shy, I like to stay behind the scenes.
I got thinking about writing letters to all the entertainers that have inspired me so far in my life. Making sure they were all ok too and that they knew how much their fans adored them. But I’m sure they all get tons of fan mail everyday telling them that. One more, or one less letter, isn’t going to make a difference. Or will it? If I had wrote letters to all my favorite actors, authors, musicians, friends and relatives, (who have passed away) would it have made a difference in any of their lives? Would they still be here today? If I write letters to those still alive will it keep them from dying? My guess is no, not a letter from me can make that big of a difference. We never know the struggles that people are going through. Most likely my letter would show up on a good day for them and they would just toss it aside. If the big stars even read their own fan mail, which I’m guessing most don’t, they have staff for that. All the letters I did write to my relatives didn’t keep them alive, the letters may have made them happy, but death still came. Though my relatives died of natural causes, maybe it did keep suicide away, I know many suffered with their ailments but they all pushed through to their natural ends. I don’t write many letters any more, mainly because I feel we keep in touch enough through social media, but I know my friends and family still like getting letters in the mail. So a few times a year I still write letters to a select few but I’ve never written a letter to someone I’ve never met and only admired by watching them on television or reading about them. I don’t think I have the power to make that big of a difference in a person’s life who lives in the limelight. What do you think? Do you write fan mail or letters to friends and relatives just to say hi and that you’re thinking about them?
This past week I found out that Anthony Bourdain wasn’t the only one who had passed away on June 8th, 2018. My friends uncle had also passed away that day but I never found out until the middle of the following week. I had met his uncle a few times, he taught me some good life lessons back in the day. Their family and mine had been friends way before I was ever born, not close but enough to call them friends and not just acquaintances.
I have been waiting, no, dreading, for the news of the third. I find deaths come in 3’s. Less than three months ago was the first funeral of friend, then last month another. I know there would be one more and it sucks knowing that death is coming and having no idea who for. I start visiting people I haven’t seen in a while or at least calling them to see how they are doing. It gets me thinking about mortality and how death decides who goes next. Several friends have had close calls but beat death away. They worry me. They are living on borrowed time.
The way I deal with things in life that bother me is that I write. Being shy makes it hard for me to talk to people to say how I’m feeling. I find it easier to say what’s on my mind if I hide behind my pen and paper. Writing is a slower process than speaking and it gives me time to adjust my words before others hear them. I’m presently ½ way through an online short story writing course so I used my emotions to write a short story for one of the assignments in the course, killing two birds with one stone.
My progress on my novel has been, ok, well, there has been no progress since May and I didn’t even write much in May. I still carry it with me to work every shift, I now refer to my briefcase as my glorified lunch box. I still have all the same old excuses, life just got busy – funeral, awards nights, banquets, Fathers Day, teaching son to drive, extra courses to do for work, the poetry and short story courses I decided to do online and I’m still part of the writers group at the library. My biggest excuse was waiting for the third death as I placed the two previous obituaries on my writing desk and claimed it to be superstitious if I put them away before I had the third, they are put away now, now I have my writing desk in my closet back to work at. I am anticipating next month will be much better for writing as the only things on my agenda is to take a relative to the airport and lots of extra hours at work as I fill in for people on vacation now that it is summer.
On a more positive note I did write this blog, a poem and one, and half of another short stories, plus jotted down some ideas for new stories and more notes to go along with already formed ideas for stories. I also read (I didn’t read them cover to cover, I flipped through and read what parts looked interesting) four books that I borrowed from the library on poetry and short stories. I’m writing this to justify to myself that I still did some reading and writing. I also thought about my novel and the process of writing it. I think I’ll be sad when I’m done writing my novel. It’s a place I can escape and look forward to and think about to get my mind off things. Plus the main character is about to get into trouble and be hurt and I really like my main character and don’t want to see anything bad to happen to her so if I don’t write the bad stuff then she’ll be ok. I think I’m too attached to my main character. Is that such a thing?