“The Spirit World” by David Sedaris

David Sedaris writes about the last time he saw his sister Tiffany, who suffered from severe mental health issues and took her own life in May of 2013. At the time of her death, they had not spoken for several years. The last time he saw her was at the Symphony Hall in Boston, when he was on the verge of performing at the beginning of a tour.

“The last time I saw my sister Tiffany was at the stage door at Symphony Hall in Boston. I’d just finished a show and was getting ready to sign books when I heard her say, “David. David, it’s me.” We hadn’t spoken in four years at that point, and I was shocked by her appearance. Tiffany always looked like my mother when she was young. Now she looked like my mother when she was old, though at the time she couldn’t have been more than forty-five.

“It’s me, Tiffany.” She held up a paper bag with the Starbucks logo on it. Her shoes looked like she’d found them in a trash can. “I have something for you.” There was a security guard holding the stage door open and I said to him, “Will you close that please?” I had filled the house that night. I was in charge—Mr. Sedaris. “The door,” I repeated. “I’d like for you to close it now.”

And so the man did. He shut the door in my sister’s face and I never saw her or spoke to her again. Not when she was evicted from her apartment. Not when she was raped. Not when she was hospitalized after her first suicide attempt. She was, I told myself, someone else’s problem. I couldn’t deal with her anymore.”

from the Paris Review via A. J. Daulerio’s newsletter The Small Bow

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