I casually met Philip Seymour Hoffman at Corsino while having dinner at the bar with a friend. He was with his son and his cell phone was out of juice so my friend lent him hers to make a call. We chatted for a few minutes-established we were members of the same social Club and basically exchanged casual New Yorker niceties.
I am so, so sad about his death because he was a brilliant actor whose films I always made a point to see and of course because he leaves behind a wife and children.
The manner of his death was ugly. That is not the way anyone wants to leave this world. I have had many people in my life who have suffered from addiction and suffer from addiction and I do not wish it on anyone. It is all consuming and colors everything with difficulty.
I believe when you die…you see everything. I have convinced myself you are basically sitting on a cloud with your chin in your elbow contemplating what happened. Whenever things have gotten really rough or I am super afraid to confront a situation head on… I say to myself… I do not want to be sitting on “that cloud” in heaven pissed at myself for being afraid or incapable of managing a situation. That vision drives me as silly as it may seem.
I have anonymously ridden in elevators with Philip Seymour Hoffman, crossed the street and eaten in the same restaurants over the years. He was a guy you would absolutely want to invite to a dinner party. He seemed the quintessential New Yorker I liked just having him messing about the city I have grown up in.
Maybe it’s snowing today to just make New York brighter for a few hours…I don’t know. But Philip… if you can indeed hear me…I will always remember you with a wry smile and admiration. I am sorry there is no turning back from your choices but as with all the delightful aspects of your life I have enjoyed…I will honor the result of your struggles as lesson to be well respected.
And of course next time I am at Corsino I will raise a glass to you buddy.
Your fellow New Yorker…