Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Eric Little Died Last Month

For the last month I've been waiting to see a comment from Eric Little in my inbox, wondering how his busy school term was shaping up, and it wasn't until today that I found out he died. I had to go searching because I never knew anything about his family, and he didn't use his real name, but he died late August on his way to the hospital, a month ago.

Eric wrote emails that I rarely answered, shamefully, and selfishly. I knew how to yank his chain. I declined the one opportunity to actually meet him in May. I won't lie, I could get annoyed how everything became an obscure cultural reference somehow. He knew his Vladimir Nabokov and his '60s pop. The Dos Passos novels he convinced me to read just arrived yesterday. I cared for him. I think he was incredibly smart, very sad, trying to make contact. I think he was also a "good man."

I can't decide what to do for him, but I'll think of something. I can't accept that he won't be writing to me anymore.

I know Eric loved to trawl YouTube. I think he'd enjoy this clip of Pete Townsend and John Entwistle performing "Face the Face." He would know all the trivia and he'd be bursting to share it. Enjoy the video, Eric, and please write a long comment about what it means! Really, please, tell me what you think.


Anonymous said...

Shit, Miss Drama Queen, Here I was, quite happy to see that someone "got" what you were all about, but you are all alone now. :-(

What happened? Heart Attack or what?

Anonymous said...

What I wanted to add to that is, when you meet someone and take leave, always tell what you have in your heart - you never know if it will be the last chance you will have.

Anonymous said...

Eric on George Orwell

The second quotation is from his last major essay, "Reflections on Gandhi":

"The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection, that one is sometimes willing to commit sins for the sake of loyalty, that one does not push ascetism to the point where it makes friendly intercourse impossible, and that one is prepared in the end to be defeated and broken up by life, which is the inevitable price of fastening one's love upon individual humans

RIP, Eric.

Adam Thornton said...

Thank you, jj...I'm not all alone but I'm lonelier without him, and you're right. It's been a hard few days, but sometimes things have to be awful for you to really see them clearly.

The obituary doesn't say how he died; I guess it may have been a heart attack. He certainly never talked about physical problems but he tended to be mostly "upbeat" in his posts and comments.

It sounds like he had a loving family and a lot of students that respected him; I think he knew that his online friends liked him as well.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear that. I'll miss his enthusiastic posts here too.