We can’t help but see it any other way: There was a very real brutality in the odd coincidence that, just as we were about to quietly, in our own ways, mark the third anniversary of the death of our good, good friend Christopher Tucker, news broke over the weekend that pop singer Amy Winehouse had died. They had a lot in common: Both had a wild streak a mile wide, both were ridiculously talented, and both combined those two attributes to blow down a path of destruction that we may not ever get over. (And strangely, there was only one degree of separation between them; there’s a fairly legendary tale about Tucker meeting up with Winehouse’s buddy Pete Doherty. You can imagine.) We didn’t know Amy, of course, but we’d humbly submit that no one has had, or will have, anything better to say about this tragedy than Russell Brand. Right now, his words are giving comfort and truth to so many people around the world that it’s been crashing his site. But back here at home, we’re still stuck on Christopher; Amy Winehouse’s passing is insult to injury. We’d be lying if we said the last few years around here haven’t been a difficult time, but that’s never an excuse for not giving the finger to darkness. And lately, when we commune with Christopher, we’re happy to say that we’ve had some great news for him: There’s been marriages, and babies, and success, and love. As well as a few other things that we’re sure cracked him right the hell up.
What is left, then? A lot. There’s the work — Amy’s above, of course, and Christopher’s, here and here for starters — but there’s also the reality that the conversation has never stopped, and will never stop. We think of Christopher every day. Sometimes it’s a memory; sometimes it’s a quick nod upstairs to ask him, “Brother, ain’t this some shit?” Either way, the conversation isn’t over. M. Ward might have said it best:
Death is just a door, Blake said it first
It’s just another room we enter
It’s a threshold that hurts
Birth is just a chorus, death is just a verse
In the great song of spring that the mockingbirds sing
We come and we go, a-weeping and a-wailing
Our heads in the hands of the nurse
Well, put your head on my shoulder, baby, tell me where it hurts
You say you lost your one and only, could it get any worse?
I said, “Death is just a door, you’ll be reunited on the other side”
We love you and we miss you, Christopher. And Amy, we loved you from afar, too. But please pardon us for the moment: There’s an awful lot of work to be done.