Last week I was wearing a button to work. “Who is that on your button?” – a co-worker asked me. “That’s my buddy Salvador”, I answered. “Dali?” – a curious one continued. “Yes. It’s his birthday. So we are celebrating”, I lied. “Is it really?” – she doubted me. “No. His birthday is in May. But he is my buddy”, I said with a smile. “You have a lot of dead friends…”, she concluded and walked away not amused.
It is true. I have a lot of dead friends: Dostoevsky, Dali, Vonnegut, Tolstoy, Klimt and many more. I met one of them in a half-priced bookstore and came back the next week to empty the shelf labeled “VO-Z”. I bought them all. I was rather upset I didn’t get a chance to mail my letter to him before he passes away several years ago. The other one I met in a museum in London at the travelling exhibit. I set on a bench in front of him holding a one-sided conversation, scaring passersby. I spent a night with the other in my dorm room under covers with a flashlight. Those were strange and life-changing encounters.
It’s ok to have dead friends. Mine are always with me, living through their work. When I eventually meet them in person, we’ll have a lot to talk about.