Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Repost from April 12, 2014 | Everything is A-ok with David Letterman

I thought of writing something new about Dave tonight, in honor of his last Late Show, but when I read post I wrote for his birthday, well, it says it all for me.  What I'm saying is, this post is a rerun, so:  Go watch Dave say farewell.

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Dave.  I love the guy.  Not like a stalker who breaks into his home.  Not like an obsessive fan who duct tapes him to a chair for an intimate dinner.  More like I loved my bicycle when I was a kid.  Or something similarly essential and integral to who I am, a brick in the foundation of my personality, from way back when, but not something I make much fuss about on a day-to-day basis.  Yeah, like my bicycle.

It was 1984 or 1985.  I was 13 or 14 and spending the night at my sister's house so we could catch an early flight to Chicago to visit our Grandparents.  My sister and her husband were up late, packing and doing laundry.  I was bored and not tired, just sort of floating around their house, unsure what to do with myself, and so they told me to watch this show they had on.  So I did.



When I returned from Chicago, I programmed the family VCR to tape Letterman each night and watched it each day after school.

The reason I'm writing about this isn't to stake a claim, or to somehow create a virtual band T-shirt to prove that I was there first.  I wasn't.  I was a kid.  And I was there a couple of years late.

But I was loyal.

But that isn't even the point.

The point is:  I'm not sure what to do without Dave.

I was raised by television, and during key years I was mostly raised by Dave.



And as an adult with regular insomnia, or rather an adult who experiences occasional restfulness, I still catch The Late Show a lot.  It's comforting and soothing to me.  It's like I can still take my bike out and coast down the empty backroads of the exurb where I grew up, pink, purple, blue summer sunset on the horizon.  When I spend time watching Dave's show, it's like time flattens and compresses, every time is occurring at the same time, and all is a-ok.

To think that won't be an option soon makes me seriously concerned about my world.  Well, that sounds dramatic.  Maybe more dramatic than accurate.  No, that's it.  I am seriously concerned.  It's not like this is a surprise.  I had been feeling like the end was coming soon, and that Dave was nearing "Imminent Carson" (an appropriate, classy and elegant exit).  Intellectually I understood it and supported it, but now that it is here I find I am wholly unprepared.

Look, I know his retirement will be a-ok, too.  He is leaving me with a similarly bright, nerdy, AP-class kind of a guy who, like Dave, has learned to use his powers for good and not evil.  Not always nice, but definitely good.  Plus, I've got some time to adjust to the idea.

Yes, I know it's all going to be a-ok.  I'll always be able to find him on YouTube or whatever comes after that, and whatever comes after that.  And no matter what year I find him, and no matter the year of the clip I find, nor the quality of the clip, I will feel the calm, cool confidence of tooling around on my purple bike, wearing my purple Esprit sweatshirt, surrounded by a purple dusk - all alone, but a-ok.

Still, right now, I'm just not sure about it all.

Regardless, it's time for me to stuff my feelings about all of this and focus on the day:  Happy Birthday, Mr. Letterman.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, yours is the only celebrity birthday I have memorized.  I know that says something about me, and whatever that is, I'll take it.