In light of today’s sudden and unexpected loss via apparent suicide of brilliant artist, Robin Williams, I feel the need to reiterate what I’ve been saying in various comment threads around social media.


Nothing happened today. My brain was sucked dry by copious mundane tasks at The Slave Box, aka The Cubicle of Doom aka How I (Barely) Pay My Bills. Along the way I heard:

Clearly, the End of the World is Nigh.

And that is as good as any reason to have a drink…or four. And so I will.

That’s all.

© 2011 D. Kessler

Okay, today is NOT a good day for me.  I have been trying to figure out WTF is wrong with me…why I can’t get anything done, why am I flying off the handle at Dave for everything and nothing, why does the date keep jumping out at me, why can’t I write anything…no one single thing for NaNo or otherwise today…why do I keep having anxiety issues for no apparent reason…why, WHY, WHY…everything?!  It just isn’t sitting quite correctly today…

I just figured out what the deal is.  Just now.  At 7:47 PST.

Once upon a time, five years ago, my baby brother went to bed around 11 pm after drinking some wine with his fiancee.  He took off his very cool, slightly pointed, vintage dress shoes that he wore almost every day.  He rolled up each sock separately, as always, and stuffed one in each shoe.  He then meticulously placed his shoes with said socks against the baseboard across from the foot of the bed.  He went to sleep quickly…wine can do that to you…and was soon snoring his exceedingly loud irregular sleep-apnea snore.   Too loud, actually, so his fiancee (one of my best friends) went to sleep in the apt right next door, the apt she was watching while the neighbor was out of town for the Thanksgiving week.

Well, John never woke up.  He just up and stopped breathing in his sleep.  He was 32 years old.

Once I realized today, this evening, what the date meant, why it kept jumping out at me, I went and dug out my journal from that year.  I wasn’t able to write ANYthing for three weeks…not even in my journal, privately to myself.  I couldn’t do anything but sleep and drink a lot…A LOT, boy did I drink a lot.  I don’t know how I kept my job…I really think I had a bit of a nervous breakdown.  Finally on December 18, 2003…a full 23 days later (omg, that damn number follows me everywhere…)…I finally scribbled an entry as follows below.

Bear in mind this is not great writing…this is raw right out of my journal…but I can think of no better way to mark this day and send tribute to my brother than to publish the words I tore out of my soul finally that day 23 days after his death.  I’ve tried to protect my formatting as much as possible…but I have omitted some names to protect the innocent:

~ December 18, 2003 ~

home:  well, Dave’s in Shoreline…which is home…for now…

silence:  it’s quiet out here in the boondox

time:  11:09 PST…hung over, playing hookey from work


it has happened.

My most awful fear, my dreaded nightmare of my life since I was four 1/2 years old.

Johno is DEAD.

Died. Stopped Breathing. Didn’t wake up.

O God this is hard I can’t write this it makes it real if I do can’t I just try to pretend he just moved away somewhere nice with the love of his life Patti you know he asked her to marry him like 2 days before…

Before IT.

IT was November 25th and when [she] went to wake him on November 26th he was not breathing.



Turns out found out yesterday that it…The T.O.D…Time of Death was 11:45 pm November 25, 2003.

She had just checked on him at 11:30 before she got ready for bed.  She slept in the other room that night cuz he’s snoring was so bad.

                  The snoring that killed him…

Sleep Apnea.  You stop breathing.  Most of the time your body wakes you up so you start breathing again.  Sometimes I would shake John awake cuz he’d stop breathing.  Patti would too.

Not this time.

This time all were asleep. Johno was on his stomach and had been drinking that evening.  I had gotten a phone message, silly tipsy somewhat frustrated message, that evening when I got home from work.  He’d called like 4:30ish. I wish I would have saved it.  I wanted to but in it he accused [so-and-so] of not giving me my messages & called them [ommitted]…Didn’t want them to hear that so I erased it.

                  Oh if only I would have known it was the last time I would ever hear his voice I would have saved it.

                  I just want to hear his voice.

That’s how come I can’t pretend he & Patti just live somewhere else & so I never see them or him.

                   Cuz I’ll never get to hear him for real out loud say his silly stuff or his serious stuff.  Or ANY stuff.

I AM ALONE.  So Alone.

Since I was 4 1/2 I’ve always had my brother.  Looked out for him.  Laughed at & with him.  Worried about him.  Missed him.  Loved him.  Hung out & drank with him.  Went shopping for weird food with him.  Saved his life a couple times.

                                         But not this time.

                                         I couldn’t do anything this time.

                                         I wasn’t there.

                                         I can’t believe we can’t fix it.

I’m in suspended time.  I can’t let go.  I’m afraid to let things just slip away and get easier. I so don’t want this to be true.

         What about taking him to the ball games this summer?

         What about going to Vancouver on the train for a weekend?

         What about David Bowie in January?  Or Nick Cave when he comes back?

         What about coming over for dinner & doing music with David?


What the FUCK?!

I want my brother back__ I can’t do this life like this.  I want my Johnno Nhojisquatch Dmitri.

This is too hard right now __                                              – 11:48 A.

So. It’s five years later and I’m still having trouble with it.  Oh…you know, life goes on and you don’t always dwell on it…usually not, you know.  But days like today…well…you can guess…

These are some of the many faces of that beautiful person, now


Johno, age 6, Christmas 1977

 Johno, at Summer's birthday party, July 2003










John in Nhojisquatch mode, Sept 2003




John Dmitri Kessler, at Volunteer Park Convervatory, summertime 2003






 Silly John (& Dave) wearing Patti's pink tiara at Patti's birthday dinner, Sept 14, 2003

I love you Johno.  I miss you somethin’ fierce. I can barely stand it…still…

I need your smile and to hear you say “How are you doing, dearest sister?” …in that way you do…

John Dmiti Kessler

March 8, 1971 – November 25, 2003

 John Dmitri Sept 2003



(Thanks everybody for listening…for real.  I know this is not the happiest post in  the world…)

© 2008 D. Kessler