Dear Ms. Coco Peru,
The other day as I was packing my things into my moving boxes, and preparing my things for my move back to Los Angeles, I came across the stills of the photo shoot we had a few years ago in your home in Los Angeles. I’ve been in San Francisco for the past 5 months taking a sabbatical from LA to continue this art project with Disney thats taken a few years.. and in my return, it was great to see your pictures in my overwhelming ‘to do list’ of portraits.
In essence, I haven’t forgotten about you.
The pictures not only reminded me that I need to paint you, but it reminded me that I needed to send you a letter telling you how incredible you are to your audience and the messages and humor you give us.. and I’ll tell you why.
I saw your show “She’s Got Balls” in Hollywood a few months back. I was visiting LA for work, and my best friend Frankie bought me tickets to your show because he knows how much I love going to them. As we parked the car in the parking lot, I had this horrible feeling of sadness that overwhelmed me, and I realized that… the last time I parked my car in this parking lot and walked to see you perform, I was walking with TJ.. a man I spent 15 years being madly in love with. He had recently become overwhelmed with life and work, and I bought tickets to see you to get his mind off his daily woes. We laughed hysterically that night, and it was a rare joyous oddity to see him so happy, so full of life, and so confident to take on the world that he thought was against him.
That night was the last good night that TJ had, as days later, he relapsed on heroin and died in our apartment. I was the one who found him, and finding him absolutely devastated me, to the point where I was comatose with grief for a very long time. But as all horrible and awful things happen, I met a silver lining named Frankie, who was familiar with losing someone they loved, and he taught me how to live after loss and recover from ultimate heartbreak. He continues to be my best friend to this day.
So fast forward toward your show, and I’m with Frankie and I say “I’m not sure if I can do this”, to which he responded “Well lets do the best we can do, and if it is too much, then we can go home”. During the beginning of the show I just couldn’t get TJ and the event off my mind, and I started crying. I was trying to be normal amongst the crowd that surrounded me, and found myself fighting for calmness, but I was so overwhelmed with the past that I struggled greatly in the beginning. Even during the start of the show, I was having a hard time concentrating,
….. that was until your number “You Are Going to Die Someday”
As you started the song, I felt like I was on this roller coaster of sorts. You know the part when you first get on and the first drop you always.. just no matter what, lose your breath until you get the hang of the gravitational force? Thats what happened to me. Frankie’s eyes widened in horror, and he gripped my kneecap looking at me, as he could see myself breathing in and out like a fish out of water. .. I felt overwhelmed, like this massive orchestra was playing in my head, going over all the turmoil and distress over the past few years of losing TJ. I felt all these images, like a zoetrope, flashing in front of my eyes, and right as it got unbearable, I felt this massive break.. like a dam exploding and gushing out fathoms of water.
… and I began to laugh.
At first I thought I was laughing because I felt insane, but as the laughter kept pouring out of my mouth, I realized that I was laughing because it was funny. You kept on singing “YOUUURR GONNA DIIIIEEE!!!” and every time you said that, I started laughing harder and harder until I was coughing. I suddenly embraced the ridiculousness, the somewhat irony, and hilarity of the situation. Not only that, but I got the message. YES, we are going to die someday, so why not do everything right now that we can, to go on living. I’ve felt for the past 2 years that I’ve been in this massive windstorm, and I’ve been fighting the air to get from one part of the street to shelter, but the wind is just too strong.. . And your message was a like a note that flew through the wind to slap me in the face to remind me to keep on moving.
What I’m trying to say, in this long letter of analogies and back pedaling, is that your message.. all your messages in your shows, whether you realize it or not, stick with us. Yes you make us laugh, but more importantly, you make us think.. You make us realize the irony, the heartbreak, the tragedy, of life, but… you also ALWAYS leave us with the humor of how ridiculous life can be as well as the fact that there is love, hope, and humanity out there for all of us struggling to stay afloat in this world.
It is in that, where I tell you Ms. Coco Peru, that I love you for what you do, and I love you for who you are. You have helped me more than you know and I am forever grateful for your existence in this world. I love you.
PS: And … as soon as I get my things settled, I promise to paint a portrait of you.