A Hero Falls

On Friday, I found myself crying in an airport as I read about Anthony Bourdain's suicide. I am still struggling to not cry writing this now. I've never been a celebrity worshiper, and I am can't say I often wish I were more like someone. But Tony's passing makes me realize that this man was my hero, and I have a hole in my chest.

Anthony Bourdain informed my life far more than I realized. I travelled to Singapore just to eat, and to eat at the places he ate at. I ended up in Penang because of him, and sought out specific bahn mi stalls in Vietnam. 

He was unabashedly authentic, a traveller who wanted to get the real experience of a place, and did so through its food. Seeing the world through the filter of Tony made it shrink, and become less scary. He managed to find truth everywhere, and had a deep abiding empathy for humanity, wrapped up in layers of sardonic wit. He travelled in all senses of that word, and sucked the marrow out of life like I only wish I could.

And that is why his leaving as he did hurts all the more. That life sucked his marrow in return. That someone who seemed to have such a good time living, who truly seemed to love the human experience, needed to leave. 

He made the world a smaller place by being in it, and made the world a smaller place with his leaving. 

Tony, thank you for gracing us with you for as long as you did. I hope that wherever you've journeyed to this time, you are sat on a low plastic stool, hunched over a bowl of noodles, sipping a beer.