Profile Pic

Change your profile pic. Change it to an old photograph of the dead celebrity, the comic, the acting genius whose work always gave a peek beneath the dress to the black slip within. Or so you see now, suddenly, sadly. Change it to a decades-old publicity shot of him flashing a peace sign, an ironic gesture in light of the violence he did to himself, the violence that kicked away incessantly inside of him. Watch a steady stream of streaming video, two minute clips of his movies, movies you’ve seen a half a dozen times apiece, comedies, dramas, dramedies. Weep. Address him like an old friend, sitting there, alone in your room or your cubicle or on public transit, huddled over your laptop or your phone. Look into his large, sad eyes. Bemoan the broader tragedy of mental illness. Give all of this a few minutes of thought, feel genuine sadness, genuine loss. Watch more scenes. Note the swelling of the strings. Attempt to equate those well-acted scenes with his real character, to draw straight lines from the words written for him by others to the battles he was fighting inside his own head. Convince yourself he gave something more, gave too much, laid himself too bare. Think the brazenness and apparent bravery of his acting were evidence of his internal turmoil. Do not seriously consider addiction. Do not seriously consider depression. Do not seriously consider the fact that you did not know the man in anything but the most superficial of ways. Say, “It’s sad.” Say, “Such a loss.” Wish peace upon him. His soul. Your soul. Your conscience. Change your profile pic.


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