I remember hearing his wry, reedy voice on This American Life for the first time- even surrounded by so many other wry, reedy voices (see: Glass, Sedaris). I remember reading Fraud and Don’t Get Too Comfortable in one summer afternoon, and thinking wait, you’re allowed to write like this? You can be reportorial and critical, confessional and laugh-until-my-chest-hurts funny? I wanted his career before I even knew you could want someone’s career.
And I remember meeting you that night, when our stories were read by professional actresses and we all wore nice clothes, in that three-quarters-empty theater at the Met. I remember shaking your hand and telling you I loved your work, and you graciously accepting, and you telling our parents that we were great, far greater than you would ever be, and I remember thinking never. I wish.
It’s startling and impossibly lonely to think that two people who stood on that stage are now gone. This has been a summer of losing the ones who paved the way. We have to, we have to, we have to create the things they showed us how to make.