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Deadlines: RIP Chef Damon

As a full time writer without a day job, I work my ass off. I spend the majority of my time here at this desk, banging out the word count to hit one tight deadline after another. I'm a bad friend, often failing to return phone calls or emails and losing touch with people because I was too busy.

Today, I woke up to the news that my old friend Chef Damon Bruner had been found dead in his San Francisco apartment. Details are still sketchy, but the police are apparently regarding it as a "suspicious death." He was 44.
Screen shot 2012-10-22 at 10.01.41 AM
Damon was an amazing cook. His Thai squid salad is what I always said I would want as my death row meal. He used to rag me about my sorry-ass knife skills, and joked that everything I prepped for him during the fetish dinners at the Ivy Manor would have to be presented as "rustic." He was charming and funny and gifted. And I haven't seen or talked to him since 2009.

Because I was busy.

When he moved to San Francisco after his wife Edith's suicide, we made the usual promises to stay in touch, but my deadlines got in the way. Like they always do. I thoughtlessly assumed that it was no big deal. That a few years down the road, I'd be up in the Bay Area with a little time on my hands and I'd swing by the latest restaurant where he would be cooking. We could always catch up later. But now there is no more later, and I feel like shit about that.

You see, this is a lesson that I've failed to learn over and over again. That life is what happens while you're on deadline. That if you put everything and everyone on the back burner in order to pay the bills, then you miss out on the things that really matter.

So, even though I'm on the tightest deadline of my life right now, I'm gonna take the day off. Call my friends and listen to what they are up to, not be in a rush to hang up and get back to work. Spend some time with my Pop and Charles. Take my dog for a long walk. Take the time to cook a nice meal for myself and not just eat cereal for dinner at my desk. Be alive. 

Not later. Now.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Nathan Long
Oct. 22nd, 2012 06:30 pm (UTC)
Good Advice
Made me cry, Faust.

Very sorry about Chef Damon's death, and I know exactly what you mean about putting aside friends for deadlines. Guilty as charged.
Oct. 22nd, 2012 09:28 pm (UTC)
I'm gonna miss that guy.
Nov. 16th, 2012 06:46 pm (UTC)
I feel awful about this, I am stunned. Thank you for the writing about him. Are you from DC area? We went out around 1990 and I always try to look up where he working or how he is doing. I was horrified to see my recent search. He was a kind and generous man. I was hoping to reconnect, one of the reasons I joined Facebook three days ago. How did this happen? I am angry and sad all at once. I will get to the peaceful stage soon because I know he would want that.... thank you margy scurlock
Catherine Lorenz
Feb. 21st, 2013 09:32 pm (UTC)
What Happened to Damon?
I found out indirectly from Damon's daughter that he died. In looking around for information about it I ran across this entry. Very sweet and very much my same thoughts and experiences with Damon. Everything I can find about him only says it was "suspicious". I'm wondering if you know what happened?

Poor, poor little Lannie!
Dec. 22nd, 2013 08:18 pm (UTC)
Remembering love
Thank your for this important reminder to keep our connections to friends & family strong. I just found out about Damon's death & am so saddened by the news. Damon was my first love. His tenderness & passion kindled so much and continue to remain alive in me & be shared in the world.
-Michelle Paddack
Jun. 12th, 2014 11:06 pm (UTC)
It is june 12 2014 and I am missing my buddy Damon. I barely found this while looking for him today He was an amazing person. We cooked together at kendals brassarie in DTLA and I always felt like I needed to make sure he knew where I was becuase he only saw out of one eye. But that dude could turn and burn with the best of us! We had such great times together. I remember the time he snuck into the hollywood bowl for 80s night wearing his chef coat and him and Edith took me to the afterparty with Jane fron the go go's . Or the time when in the middle of busy service he palmed my left butt cheek and pretty much picked me up off the ground. GOOD TIMES!!!

If anyone knows where he rests I would appreciate the info.

I miss u big homie R.I.P.

Sep. 6th, 2014 12:32 am (UTC)
Damon resting place
Hello I came across this man's lovely resting spot on my walk home from work and decided to find out more about him because of the little chef's hat on his stone. I'm glad I did now so I can tell you 2be is in Sunset View cemetery in Berkeley, CA. It's beautiful here. Good day to you.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )