Pass the Fuckin' Turkey, Cocksucker
I really, really fucking hate when someone mentions that suicide is selfish to those left in the passing. Only one person gets that gripe - and it's his daughter. Saw a lot of it on my feed today. And I understand the sentiment behind it; I honestly do. But how fucking selfish is it to think that someone owes their life to you. Honestly, think about it. Anthony Bourdain was a man who took the ticket and rode the ride. Along the way, he contributed to the culture and enhanced it. He picked up every vice; from heroin to vichyssoise. Tongue in cheek. Spoon to mouth. Pipe to lips. Hands to fire. Needles to words. He fucking lived. He lived harder than the majority of us will. In the humblest and most comically self deprecating way imaginable.
And he documented all of it. The beautiful and the ugly. He pitted himself in a battle with his ego for the first forty years of his life; kicking away at entangling kelp with eyes on that round, glimmering sun juxtaposed upon the Jersey waves. There's a reason they call it being in the weeds in the restaurant world. He inspired multiple generations of lost individuals with "Kitchen Confidential." He subtly jabbed at human ignorance while exploring untold beauty in his series "No Reservations." At one point, he realized his platform. A man that realizes his platform is dangerous. He moved on to CNN and did "Parts Unknown." While traveling and constantly eaves dropping on the human condition, he lost his marriage, gained tattoos, changed diets, gave up smoking, attained a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, raised a daughter & enjoyed life. Showed it all. Gave it all. His suicide isn't selfish. Humanity, is selfish. And yet, he didn't let that tip the scale on whether, or not, humanity is ultimately good or bad. But he probably saw enough to know that tapping out on the Jiu-Jitsu mat isn't for fools. If you haven't contemplated suicide, then you're not living. If that upsets you, well, kill yourself.
And as many times that I've been incensed over the previous comment, I've also been humbled by the gravity of his influence. Again - a man that realizes his platform is dangerous. He can change the mindset of an entire generation with a shot of vodka and a few stories of how he got those scars. I wondered if being in the restaurant industry, if I'd encounter someone else as defeated as I was walking into work. I did. Short lived conversation. Asked how I was. Not good. Asked how he was. "Not good." Mutual nods. "Whole fucking reason I started cooking," he said. I felt that. Didn't hear anything from the piece of shit hack I'd have expected to lament over and over. I feel vindicated in the most pettiest of ways with that one. I really, really like being right.
I don't see myself as a strong person. A lot of people do. And they might be right. But I am a flawed vessel. The degree of confidence is temperamental. I believe that a person's strength is measured in their character. Character that is witnessed in moments that didn't draw spotlights. If you boil down a life, you'll eventually separate the soup from the components. In the most literal sense, you'll have the meat and the bones. On the off chance that it be a Vegan soup; you'll be infatuated by the emptiness of life void of second & third world problems. That's a mildly smirked shout out. I saw Anthony Bourdain's character. He wore it on his face. His initial dip in composure when faced with absolute poverty peppered with perseverance is part of what made my consciousness today. He empathetically searched for the person on the corner with a sign. If for nothing else than to story their struggle, while laying foundation of unity & understanding. A shoulder shrug showcasing the smallest of situations that collects dust behind your mirror of dreams. While casting shade on your reflection.
Bourdain was a romantic and a rock star. His French lineage & stubborn asshole tendencies first drove him to eat food on a family vacation as a youth that no one would have expected their child to eat. There's a pedigree of people in the world that won't hesitate to cut off their right hand if it proves them right - and an even smaller amount of those people who then capitalize on it with lefty masturbation jokes. Forever enthralled with the classical cuisine and culture, combined with cut-throat tactics in the back of house & seasoned with the word cunt, Bourdain knew that he'd one day look to end it all in France. He verbalized it more as a keeling over in a tomato field; but the rock star in him went with the rope. I don't know if he was tired. I don't know if he was sad. I don't know if it was spur of the moment, or if it was premeditated. I couldn't bring myself to look up details until after the first 36 hours, so I do not intend to read more into it. We all carry the seeds to our own destruction. If you're lucky, you choose when to plant them.
I'll read his words again. In the same cadence of his; a shifting back and forth between a fuck it all bravado & a realization of not being hot shit. I'll watch his shows again. Shows that eventually became less about food & more of culture and the human condition, but always beautifully underlined with food being the connecting factor. Bourdain will always remain as one of my more prolific pillars; pitted into my foundation and providing a pathway that guides the eye upward. I can't wait to build upon it. Hope you find what you've been looking for on the other side, dude.