Anthony Bourdain died last week. And I'm still not over it, which is weird considering how totally unacquainted we were. I never thought of myself as somebody who could be so heartbroken by the death of a celebrity. But Tony wasn't just a celebrity, he was a writer, chef, and foul-mouthed traveling foodie who ate spicy noodles ALL THE TIME- all things I wish I could be, all the things I wish I could do. Maybe I'm a jealous person by nature, or I've just grew out of that 'anything can happen, the world is my oyster' phase of adolescence, but I've always been envious of the life he lived because I knew it would never resemble mine.
This weekend, I found myself as a musical festival of sorts on a grassy, hilly pasture in the middle of nowhere. Think Stagecoach with less reputable bands, and a lot more county. It was rumored that one of the food trucks was cajun style and had alligator on the menu. Was it a wise decision to order alligator and cajun 'boudin' balls on the last night of the 3 day festival in which all 3 days were 90 degrees and beyond? Probably wasn't the freshest, probably wasn't the wisest... but then I thought to myself, "WWABD-What Would Anthony Bourdain Do?" He would have ordered the damn alligator. And, so, I did.
The one thing that shocked me in the aftermath of Tonys death, was the sheer outpouring on his behalf. Now, I'm surprised that I was surprised. He was an infectious, authentic human, filled with curiosity and humanity. He lived life in motion. He lived fiercely, unapologetically, indulgently. And so the irony does not escape me, considering the way he blinked out of our world so prematurely. I think about these things with my arms wrapped around the toilet, at 3am, the night of the alligator. I also wonder to myself how many times he had found himself in my likeness after many gratifying nights of cold brews and spicy noodles. I mean, the man DID love his spicy noodles. And, well, he definitely liked his cold brews too. I can imagine him saying something to the likeness of how much more palatable it was going in than coming out. And I can imagine him waking up the next morning to do it all again, not so fresh alligator and all. He probably would have found some insightful, philosophical life lesson about all of this. But I am not Anthony Bourdain. And I can only continue to find moments to honor a spectacular man, and everything he has taught me.
Things I have learned from Anthony Bourdain
Sometimes its about the food, and sometimes it about people sitting down together over a table of said food. Because food can bring us together.
We are all just people who are doing our very best. So many people want to go on and on about our differences. But our differences are so much less important than our similarities.
There is great importance in curiosity, happy accidents, and winging it.
And finally, order the damn alligator.