Elliot Smith stabbed himself in the chest with a kitchen knife.
I read the headlines and I read the message boards professing their love for him. There were many people who claimed to be unsurprised by an obvious end to Elliot’s life. I never thought he was capable of it.
Of course I know the sadness and desperation of his lyrics and the melancholy in those giant melodies. I always thought that there was a sliver of hope in those songs; or maybe I just hoped. I thought that he wrote songs about wanting to find a place to hide so that he did not have to find a place to hide.
I stayed home all day and listened to records. I found some interviews and memorials online that I listened to. I drank some booze and felt miserable by myself.
I still don’t know why it moved me so much. I didn’t know him. I didn’t really even know that much about him. There are scores of fans out there that knew his music more intimately than I. Still though, it hit me like a family member had died.
Elliot was like that older cousin that had seen things and done things you wish you had the guts to do. You wondered how you had the same blood. You worshiped him and feared him at the same time. And then he is gone.