Fade to WhiteI used to wonder how come my parents and older folks in general didn't get into gory, morbid movies and TV like I did. I used to wonder why my dad got up and left so early whenever Six Feet Under came on, always transfixed during the opening death sequence and then retreating immediately after the fade to white, muttering disgusted sounds under his breath.
Now I get it. Eventually you get touched too much by that kind of stuff in real life, and it just seems cheap and hideous on real TV. I got my first taste of that yesterday when I heard that my friend, peer, editor and occasional mentor Bob Wooldridge died in a tragic, demented accident.
He had decided, at the age of 42, to take up skateboarding. He'd started a blog about it. I don't have the heart to hunt it down. My friend Kenny had been talking to Bob via IM the day before the accident, telling him that skating was dangerous and to be careful. Twenty-four hours later, Bob was skateboarding with his son when he was struck by a car and killed.
Fade to white. When I'm not thinking about Bob himself -- his humor, his savage, hilarious cussing, and his wililngness to take a confused new guy under his wing for a little while -- I keep seeing a Hollywood version of the accident in my head. It ends with a fade to white and the first bloom of music from the Six Feet Under theme.
Plenty of people knew Bob better than me and are way worse off than I am right now. My heart and prayers really actually do go out to them right now. It's not some lame phrase that people say when pther people die. I get it.
I wrote a tribute to Bob on my work blog, which you can see here. My coworkers Joe and Jamie also have their tributes up. Check 'em out if you're inclined.