Charley (szasz) wrote,

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sad departures

I just read that Spalding Gray has disappeared. Apparently he went to see Big Fish with his family, and then walked away from his home without his wallet, and no one has seen him since. There was a possible sighting on the Staten Island Ferry, so there's a fear he committed suicide by jumping off the ferry into the cold river.

He's possibly best known for his books, such as "Gray's Anatomy", but for me his most powerful works were his monologues. We got to see him a few years ago, not long after he recovered from a car accident that apparently left him unable to be as active as he once was, which really hit him hard.

Anyway, we saw him perform "Morning, Noon, and Night" here, and I found him quite captivating. Honest, clear, unforgiving. I was mesmerized enough by his storytelling and in the middle of it he quoted from the poem: "Tis a fearful thing to love what death can touch" which woke me up with a shock. He had put into words how I had been feeling about my best friend Sandy, who had died not long before.

And now he's missing, and probably dead, finally having succeeded at ending his tortured, overanalyzed life after three earlier attempts. It's sad, when such talent and honesty and storytelling gift has to be stolen away, maybe because it saw a little too clearly, and better than the rest of us, the harsh and bittersweet truths of the world, and found it just couldn't go on in the face of them.

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