Remembering David Rakoff

“It’s flattering to be thought of for such a piece, because it feels right up my alley, combining as it does urban environments, glamourous hotel bars, the wee small hours, and intimate disclosure. It’s virtually a Billy Strayhorn song.”

Almost four years ago, I approached author David Rakoff about writing an article about bartenders for one of our client publications, and his reply (excerpted above) made me even more of a fanboy than I had been before.  I was gutted this morning to hear he had passed away.

If you haven’t read his books or hear his contributions to “This American Life,” I can’t recommend enough that you seek them out. I own all three of his collections of short stories.

  • Fraud (“I find life itself provides ample and sufficient tests of my valor and mettle: illness; betrayal; fruitless searches for love; working for the abusive, the insane, and the despotic. All challenges easily as thrilling to me as scrambling over icy rock in a pair of barely adequate boots.”)
  • Don’t Get Too Comfortable (“There is a supercomputer somewhere in the Nevada desert whose sole function is to count the number of times that I have said the following, because it is unquantifiable by human minds at this point, but this time it’s really true: I should have stayed home.”)
  • Half Empty (“People are really trying their best. Just like being happy and sad, you will find yourself on both sides of the equation many times over your lifetime, either saying or hearing the wrong thing. Let’s all give each other a pass, shall we?”)
WHAT SAM WORE: 8-10-12
“Fashion challenge” at work today: plaid.
The shirt: Micro-gingham cotton button-down from the J. Crew outlet store at Anthem.
The tie: Cotton madras, also from the J. Crew outlet store. (Different visit, though.)
The pants: Cotton trousers from Banana Republic, ordered online.
The shoes: Leather loafers by Rush Gordon Rush, from Nordstrom.

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