Farewell Joan Rivers

Back in ’09 I went to see Joan Rivers at The Laurie Beechman Theater on W. 42nd St., here in Manhattan. It’s a little dinner theater she used to do her act in a few nights a week, right up until she passed. An unassuming place, not necessarily the type of venue you would think to see a comedy legend perform. I was still relatively new to New York at the time and had recently broken up with my boyfriend. (Maybe he broke up with me, who can even remember?) I went to Joan’s show alone, and sat at a table by myself. I had some drinks, Joan did her act, and of course she killed. After the show, her assistant approached me and asked, “Would you like to meet Joan?” Surprised and excited, I obviously accepted. After a few minutes of waiting I was brought back to a small hallway, which led to a back exit. There was Joan getting ready to leave, as she was putting on her fur coat, and sifting through her giant black Birkin bag. A tiny little thing with flawless makeup and perfect hair, her perfume reminded me of my grandmother. It was just the three of us: Joan, her assistant, and myself. This wasn’t a meet and greet by any means. She asked if I liked the show, to which I raved. We took two pictures together (the first was vetoed because she didn’t approve of the lighting). She never told me why she had offered for me to meet her, and I didn’t ask. I attribute it to the fact that I was the only party of 1 in this small, intimate theater and perhaps she recognized that? Whatever the reason, she made me feel less alone at a lonely time in my life. We chatted for just a couple of minutes, and she said to me “As long as you keep laughing, everything in your life will be great.” I will never forget that. It’s important for me to say goodbye to someone who has kept me laughing since I was a little boy. To a brilliant woman who shared my love for New York City, plastic surgery, a luxe life, and not taking yourself too seriously, I say farewell. I hope to have the opportunity to make people feel as good as you have made me feel all these years. Thank you for the laughs. R.I.P. you old bag. @joanrivers