As I was walking across town (after I’d gotten off the bus and headed downtown to try and catch S after the d&p brunch interview), I was thinking too that it would be super neat to run across Phillip Seymour Hoffman in the street. We’d had a run of visits where we’d seen famous people wandering around town and I think he would have been one of the few celebrities that I would have actually said something to. It’s weird in that town though – and in our culture – celebrity as wild and often documented bird that remains surprising to see in the relative calm of their home environs.
Anyway, I’m implicated and caught up in all if this shit even though I’d much rather not be. So yeah, walking and thinking about seeing celebrities and this guy wearing a ball cap crosses the street from St. Marks and it looks like it might be him… This was right after I stepped out into the street to take picture of this pave cutter that looked like it needed an operator.
Just sort of hanging out on Astor. The weapons and how we drive them in tandem with their abandonment.
But it wasn’t him. Was just some dude.
I caught up with Shan and went up to the theater with her and then wandered to an art shop to pick up some ink for a book cover and back across town to meet up with her parents who had driven down to see Beertown that night. The show was awesome – full of lively debate, some audience members who were more committed to their characters than some of the cast members, and solid performances all around.
The next morning I pull up twitter and see some ridiculous post retweeted from the ny post – that nonsense toilet paper that my grandmother absolutely loved – that said Phillip Seymour Hoffman had been found in his apartment dead with a needle in his arm. I thought it was a joke at first, but it wasn’t. Other sources we’re reporting it as well.
Now I don’t know why I was floored by this. Had read about his addiction struggles and knew that this was something that a lot of people couldn’t get around – had people I know succumb to their addictions and a handful still working through the day to day. People that I love. But there is still something to this man who was able to show us the worst parts of ourselves and show how we’re not only those things – that humans have to be seen (or should be given the chance to be at least) as better than our worst parts…that he who inhabited this space so regularly could get swallowed by the instruments that sometimes lead us into the worst parts of ourselves cut into me some. And then there was the policing of feeling on Facebook which is another thing entirely, maybe another post here if I get to it…
To live publicly and die publicly is that somehow as sad as doing those things anonymously?