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2006-12-23 14:09

In June of 1992 I came home after a Cotati visit bearing profound realization Vito was dying. I could see death- it was the first time I SAW him wearing death. For me, the skull appears to come forward; the flesh-blood-life recedes, there's a soft cool gray aura.

I started mourning immediately getting in my car. I continued processing this sad truth by propagating more life: my house plants all got divided & repotted. I started a couple hundred 4" clay pots with cacti & succulent cuttings. I dug new areas into the garden. I touched every carving Vito gave me. I painted. I cried.

I started writing this piece of prose. It was supreme catharsis. Each Cotati visit brought up deep feelings within seeking expression. For 4 months the words gently tumbled around my head.

I was able to recite it from memory (until I started crying) at Vito's Memorial service on Halloween that year. I printed up and passed out postcards with this photo I took of Vito dancing on Melrose Ave.

on one side, and my heartfelt missive on the other.

I was looking for something unrelated in my filing cabinet last night, and one of those printed postcards I made back then revealed itself. I typed the text into the computer to post it here. It'll end up on my site's library page, and maybe I'll make a little movie of myself reading it, too!

The Final Bow

The life of my greatest fan was the ideal scenario available to exiting members of the human race. 78 strong years of unstoppable vitality and verve! The will to LIVE! The talent to create happiness and nurture harmony! A liberator of creative spirits to fly...

This life wants to go on dancing- what further proof is needed to verify the preciousness of the GIFT of LIFE

One catch- the gift must always be returned. Life's organic chemistry equation is an Indian Giver. New life springs from recycled materials.

To have a fun life, and just quietly fade away (quickly, for grace and ease) is the epitome of fantasy scripts. My greatest fan's exit contains little conflict- mostly monologues of self-reflection, fullfillment, and poignant first-hand observations of his physical demise.

Solo in the spotlight, he is complacent, lucid, and serene to the final bow.

What about that last movement! THAT gesture to really take the cake, and draw the curtains on the STAR, my greatest fan?

INTERMISSION? REMISSION? Mission of Mercy?

Act III, the FINALE.

With Love, please exit the theater laughing, and have a groo- vy Life. GOOD NIGHT!

1992 Leslie Michel