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Anthony Bourdain's table on the edge of the world.

by Naked Cricket

It barely sits there
On the edge
Two legs on land
Two in the air
It’s the table
On the edge
Of the world

It’s before he cleaned up
It’s after he cleaned up
He barely sits there
One leg on land
One in the air
It’s a man
On the edge
Of the worlds

He found food
He found friend
He found food
He found friend
On this table
On the edge
Of the world

Two legs were longer
Two legs were shorter
Two legs on land
Two in the air
On this table
On the edge
Of the world

Chopsticks and a steak knife
Singha and Bordeaux
Cheese burger and cobra nectar
Hebrew on a Persian carpet
The Hudson and the Mekong
Entwined, enshrined
On this table
On the edge
Of the world

Do you know him
Of course you do
Do you love him
Of course you do
Do you want to be like him
Talk like him
Trip like him
Write like him
Of course you do
But can you
Eat like him
Sit like him
On this table
On the edge
Of the world

Twinkle in the eye
Smoke rings in the voice
Fuck you with so much feeling
Seven courses in the spoken word
Another 11 on the blog
A round neck tee
Yanked down, almost frayed
Six foot three
Jiu-Jitsu.

He found food
He found friend
He found food
He found friend
On this table
On the edge
Of the world


click to enlarge




You can’t bottle or uncork cool. There can’t be a formula or a college degree that makes you a graduate of cool. On the other hand, you can be cool to start off and go on to tweak that cool. Anthony Bourdain was cool for way too long to think of him any other way. It was his warmth for people, food, the camera, the spoken and written word that made him cool. Hell, it was his warmth for life but that sounds almost too sissy to be attributed to him.

He was cool when he smoked and swore on air, and continued to be when he didn’t or was beeped out.

There’s a Miles Davis album called The birth of cool. That could so easily be Bourdain’s biography.

For long, I saw in Bourdain, an inspiration. He listened. He really did. And that listening made people talk. And it made him talk. Talk a lot. Face-to-face with people, and then that crackling voice over as if it came from your favourite old vinyl record.

He often took the mundane, marinated it in some Bourdain spice overnight, and made it shine, like Graceland.

That someone this cool could take his own life is both confounding and disturbing. For how long was Bourdain dining on this table that was pretty much on the edge?

Imagine someone as cool and accessible as Anthony Bourdain having done a mainstream show on mental health – or for that matter, just talking about it openly. It would’ve made talking about mental health cool, right?

But even celebrities, however indestructible they may be on our screens, are but human, often with the same frailties. Often far worse.

If anything, as the consumers of so much media, with access to our stars, there is a lesson lurking somewhere – be kind.

In India this holds true for our relationship with our cricketers – if and when India loses, to tag and abuse players on social media is a form of torture.

To not like an actor’s performance, and then go on to tag and abuse them is a form of torture. There is the block button. But often the damage is already done.

With Bourdain’s suicide, more so if he was dear to us, we can relook at the way we engage with celebrity. The way his girlfriend is now being stalked is beyond unkind. A little kindness from us can go a very long way. If we find ourselves incapable of that, maybe addressing our own mental health is a start.

To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it.
– Charlie Chaplin

1 comment:

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