Goodbye, Taylor.

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Going deeper…

I knew Taylor. And his passing has actually been truly gutting for me these last 10 hours, in a very profound and fucked up way, because I never met him in real life, for reasons of me being a broken human during the period we met and I didn’t deserve his kindness and I couldn’t let him in. He was also back and forth between Toronto and LA— unbeknownst to most, he wasn’t a chef. He was a writer and director who worked closely with Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and did work for HBO. But I still felt like I really knew him, even though I didn’t really know him, in a more technical sense. And so this is still sad and dark for me. Long ago, we did a spiritual "show me yours" stripdown over chat late one night and laid bare for each other some personal and private shit only reserved for our therapists. For a few moments, we were close in some undefined capacity. All the receipts are still there (too private to show and— with the exception of the one screencap I let myself post in the above— out of respect for him, these stay with me) and scrolling through rolls and rolls of them and rereading what we said to each other on some very spiritually intimate levels is absolutely fucking me up. I still have his phone number in my contacts for fuck’s sake.

I didn’t know him as his locally famous alter-ego, I knew him as Taylor. As I openly lament and self-reflect about a man whose fame precedes him, I know I hazard, in this sense, being braggy, showy, tacky, opportunist, and engaging in a stupid round of one-upmanship, but that is not it because I didn’t know him that way. I’m just struggling here to articulate how I feel about a friend who I knew but never knew who’s dead now, and it’s as innocent and confusing and painful as that. Fucking hell, holy shit this hurts…

…It’s important that people know this other side of him, opposite of his work. He cared so much about people (and it shows in the insane outpouring happening right now). He was a local hero. He was smart, insightful, deep, and so gentle, and so fragile and he shared this with me. And I mostly rejected it. I wasn’t used to it. I was used to the presence of monsters and demons at the time. And his presence made me feel like the monster and he insisted I let him in and let him care about me. And I couldn’t, it just made me feel too ugly and damaged for me to handle.

And now that I’ve learned that he had his own demons that took him under this weekend, I am saddled with this unbearable and crushing guilt and sadness. Could I have done something. Could I have been better. Could I have just gotten over myself. If I was less self-absorbed and less broken six years ago, could we have been closer, could I have helped him, could we have helped each other…

I’ll never know now.

I’m sorry, Taylor. You deserved better.