Posts Tagged ‘parts unknown’

Anthony Bourdain Is Still Missed

August 14, 2019

The Wife and I have always enjoyed Bourdain, originally on his Travel Channel show, his CNN show, then we saw the precursor A Cook’s Tour on Netflix. Since he died, The Wife has seemed to lose interest in watching the last couple of seasons that we hadn’t kept up with but I have been diving back into it a bit.

Watching Parts Unknown now, with the knowledge of his death, there is something else to all of the little looks Tony gives people, places, meals, little glasses of local liquor passed around the table. It’s not so much hard to pair these images with what happened, but understanding the appreciation of love behind the glances.

I think I always had a hard time humanizing Tony. He was bigger than my life. He lived in NYC. He’d seen the world. He’d experienced various chemicals that I likely never will. He seemed loved or at least liked by damn near everyone. He made people smile and he smiled himself, seemingly effortlessly. In the words of Hunter Thompson, Tony was a man who stomped on the terra, at least in my eyes.

Now, watching him smile and flatter a lady in West Virginia fixing him spaghetti pizza, the sparkle in his eye. Him going to a small town football game. Him riding around in an SUV mutated into some weird all-terrain Appalachian assault vehicle. He looks happy. he looks like he is savoring the moment. All of the moments. And he’s there. Fully. Life is receiving his full attention.

I don’t know how he does it. I can’t do it. I feel pulled and rarely fully, entirely here. He’s so gentle. Behind the swearing, the smoking, the drinking, the bravado, he’s so gentle.

I never knew Tony. Obviously. Only through the television. Through books. Through interviews. Through the mountain of ephemera he sprinkled throughout the world. But I miss him. I watch these last few episodes, savoring them. I can always go back and re-watch them.

He will always be there in that way. But there will be no new moments. No new looks. All of the drinks passed around the table will have been drunk long ago. All of the barbecues gone cold. The laughter slipped away on the winds. These last episodes are the final new moments. And I will miss not having new ones. Selfishly, perhaps. I will miss him. And his stomping on the terra. Gently.