One was really my boyfriend. The other, for those that know me, has always been known as my “imaginary boyfriend”. It seems that they had a lot more in common than being tall, lanky, dead sexy (Too soon? They wouldn’t think so), silver fox bad boys, who still loved the punk rock of their youths, had razor-sharp wits, powerful charisma, and words. Lots and lots of them. They both greatly inspired me. One nearly ruined my life. The other kept me going. They both taught me powerful lessons about life, myself, our industry and addiction. They made me laugh, and cry, and they both met the same end.
I can only speculate, but from having read Kitchen Confidential, written with humbling candor, about his struggles with addiction, low-self esteem, and trying to figure out who he was, in a vast ocean of talented characters in his sphere, that he spoke with so much love and admiration for, that the people in Anthony Bourdain’s life, in those dark times, would not have been shocked by a decision to take himself out. My Tony, had pretty much the same story, with a different backdrop. So why now? Situations vastly improved. More people who loved them than they even realized. Kids left behind that will never really know them. People who, in spite of the brutal crap they were put through by these dudes, knew how beautiful and brilliant they were on the inside, and would never, ever be done with them. Why the blindside when all seemed on the up and up?
Demons. Sounds dumb when I say it out loud. I don’t know what else to call it though. I’m sure there’s a clinical diagnosis. Narcissistic personality disorder. Borderline personality disorder. Who gives a fuck now? They weren’t a disorder anyway. They were beautiful, brilliant men tortured by their own personal demons. (Big Pharma undoubtedly played a role, but I won’t even get into that now.) Some probably see the way out they chose as weakness. Some know how much strength it takes to live every day with such demons, and keep doing it. Weakness does not exactly come to mind for me, when I hear about someone aged 40+ choosing their own way out, reasons ranging from a terminal illness to depression that they just don’t want to fight anymore. Why do we make them feel like they’re wrong? Why do we want to see them here and suffering??! That sounds just as dumb when said out loud! Dumb and selfish, but I get it. I get both sides, actually, but I wasn’t done with either of them any more or less than anyone else. I’m sick, and sad, too. I won’t ever be in the “they were weak” camp, though. In their own ways, they will always remain my heroes. I respect your opinions, whatever they are, but we may have to agree to disagree and squash it now…
Because I don’t want to hear nobody talkin’ shit to me about my boyfriends! Ya heard me?