HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAM!!!! Two bodies stiff, dead stiff and motionless, laying in pools of blood. Godot kills everyone but you are still alive ! Godot even kills trees. He has the affinity with finitude. Had it not been for you, Sam… where would I be? Had it not been for your endorsement and your help, would I ever have had the guts to imagine “Imagination Dead Imagine”? It was 1984. A decade after sitting opposite Steinberg, I was sitting opposite Samuel Beckett, reputed for not seeing anyone. I had read, memorized all of his works and, luckily, just as in Lucky, the character in Godot, I had understood the nihilism and the humor in the nihilism and the tragedy of laughing one’s way into this nothingness, into the void – of this “lessness” and pointlessness. And…well, Beckett himself, while staring out his window and saying “I watch the world go by” described so well his utopia “of dying yet again for the last time on earth.” That was their utopia. Mine? My utopia Sam is to see yet another day, another play, another hour and a half, another line, another two, another few, a few more lines, between them two, say, between two lines. As you once put it to me: “No matter. No matter if sitting, kneeling, crawling, walking, standing in the dark and in the light. “Imagination Dead. Imagine ALL STRANGE AWAY.”I’m alive because I remember. I imagine! Just like Susan Sontag kept asking me about “how is it that Beckett walks? Sits? Writes?” HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAM! It has been an awesome journey so far!
Gerald Thomas – NYC, April 14, 2021