Harris did what I never could. he took his dream and ran with it. I am almost exactly his same age, and despite his successes he always felt like a contemporary, particularly when he appeared on podcasts. he was everything I wished I could be. enough drive to turn a love of comedy into a career, sociable in a way it could only dream of, and loved by everyone he met.
but I also share an admittedly vague notion of addiction. his path towards heroin sounds remarkably similar to the life I'm living at the moment. while I'll never cross that line myself, I understand what led him there as he described on Pete Holmes podcast.
I think because of this empathy, I'm a shaken by his death in a way I've never felt towards a "celebrity". the tragedy of such a young, talented person succumbing to addiction isn't a new concept, but regardless of the medium he worked in, this is the one time that a famous person dying has really affected me. I thought I felt it for Michael Jackson, and then again for Robin Willaims. but they were these practically mythical figures. entertainment machines with whom I associate happy memories. hardly human beings at all. but Harris was just a guy. an extremely likeable, funny guy, but no different than the friend in your own life you enjoy hanging out with the most.
I don't have an elegant way to wrap this up. I just feel so terribly for his friends and family. if his death affected me, a total stranger, as much as it has then it must be tearing apart those of you who were closest to him.
it didn't need to happen this way. there was a way out for Harris. but life, as it is, isn't fair or predictable. sometimes it takes those of us who hadn't had a real chance to turn things around for themselves. sometimes it strikes too soon. Harris will be remembered as a man who was suddenly very unlucky while playing a a volatile, self destructive game of chance. he will be missed by his friends, family, and the thousands who shared a parasocial relationship with him through sound.