i still miss u elliott

©Irwin Swirnoff

“i still miss u elliott

i can’t believe it’s been ten years & one day since elliott smith left this earth. i remember the day vividly. i was waiting tables at sparky’s. i checked my voice mail and my brother had left me the message with the shocking news. i couldn’t move or speak let alone bring eggs & bacon to table number nine.

i wrote this later that day. ten years and a day ago:

i will never forget turning 21 and getting to see
elliott smith for the first time at spaceland in la.
this was a couple months before “xo” was to come out.
a few weeks before he would appear on the oscars in a
white tuxedo. u felt so lucky to be in silverlake that
night. u knew that u were near someone at the most
special moment of their life. there was a line wrapped
around the street. this was la. and there were leather
jackets and fake smiles but once the show started
everyone around you knew that they were getting to see
something special. a glimpse into tenderness. and u
could see in his eyes that night such a glow. u could
see that right at that moment he was so happy. when he
said “thank you” u knew that he meant it. that he felt
it. and i saw him so many times after that and u
didn’t always get to see that glow. and u were reminded how
lucky it was that u got to see it once. cause it
looked so beautiful. and it made u feel so good.

and you could always turn to his records. because they
knew about tenderness and care. they helped show u how
sensitive could be so strong. how gentle could be so
wise. how sadness could have so much beauty. and how
bitter could turn into something so sweet. –
i’ve never had the death of someone i didn’t know make me
feel the way i feel today. i know that maybe we were supposed
to know that something like this might happen. but a
part of me wanted to have faith that he was going to
find a way to fight demons and keep living and making
beautiful music for the rest of his life.

and u keep thinking how this world sometimes has such little
room for tenderness and caring. and u couldn’t help but
feel so much care and tenderness from the music he made.
like a hug u always need but don’t really know how to
ask for.

i’m so grateful i got to see him the many
times i did. i’m soo happy i got to turn 21 with him
right in front of me with his acoustic guitar. he looked so pretty
that night…and what u got to feel from his music was
always of course embedded in a sadness, but there was
such a beauty and tenderness that it was filled with
that always filled u. i’m going to miss him so much.

xoxo “

Irwin Swirnoff

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