Originally published in the Portland Mercury, Nov. 2005.
Last year actor and monologist Spalding Gray committed suicide, jumping from a Staten Island ferry. In his final work, Life Interrupted, he tells of a car accident during a visit to Ireland that left him disfigured, limping, and nearly catatonically depressed. The monologue, performed only once (during a period in which friends said Gray’s depression made him nearly incapable of conversation), presents the events that led to his suicide with his trademark humor and juxtaposition.
“I didn’t think there’d be another monologue,” Gray begins. “I had settled down into domesticity and a quiet life.” Walking through the Irish countryside on the last long walk of his life, Gray sees a young calf clearly suffering, and encourages the farmer to put it out of its misery. That night as he and his wife and friends are returning from dinner, their car is struck from behind. “There was cow medicine everywhere, because the van that hit us was the veterinarian… taking care of the poor sick calf I’d reported.”
Read the complete article at the Portland Mercury.