Tuesday, September 09, 2014

R.I.P. Joan

One my favorites is gone.

It happened on Sept. 4: Joan Rivers died, at age 81, following complications from an Aug. 28 routine throat surgery (non-plastic, that I know – although she would have referred to one such procedure in exactly that way, don’t you know, don’t you know).

I was just fresh off an interminable, yet strangely reinvigorating trek up and down from the Salkantay snow peak here in Peru when I heard the news, and my heart got immediately sad over Joan’s passing, for Joan easily was one of the greatest influences on my little career.

Joan – I cannot get formal to reference her here...she was and forever will be just Joan to me – was, quite possibly, the one who planted the seed in my head: the one who led me to believe that, maybe, one day I, too, could ask some celeb if we could talk out on a red carpet somewhere. She fascinated me. Her world fascinated me. And the fact that she made it all look so appealing and effortless fascinated me.

Joan worked hard until the very end, as we all know or have come to understand in the last week very well, but she never worked hard for a joke...to be funny. Joan was funny. And brash. And incisive. And a vanguard. She cut deep, but she cut true. She was an inspiration to many, including me. And for that I am grateful. She was the original unapologetic bitch, and I dug her extra-hard for it.

I never got to interview Joan. But I’ll trust she feels my appreciation wherever she is right now. She did it her way and best of all, she constantly told the rest of us we should do the same.

I shall strive to do that, to think WWJD, a little more consciously now.

Photo: NYTimes.com.

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