R.I.P. Noah + Colby

by Angeliska on September 29, 2009

The season turns, and I return home to find the scarlet
hurricane lilies abloom and two friends dead in New Orleans.
I don’t even know if they were acquainted,
but they both died in the same week,
probably within blocks of each other.
I have to write, have to attempt to honor them
in some way- and continue to make death public.
It makes me so sad to see the bereaved feel
ashamed of their grief, and to sense the
uncomfortable helplessness of those who
love them. I am sharing the lives and passings
of my friends here, so that you can know them too.

Of course, in these moments words desert me.

I don’t want to give Colby short shrift here,
but it had been a long time since we had
really seen each other. I met him when he
was sixteen or so, and went by the name
Famine. How gamine, and he was-
a violet-headed street urchin perpetually
on the brink of starvation who always looked
as if he had rubbed his eyes with ashy fingers.
He was very beautiful, and already looked
a thousand years old. The last time we
really shared a moment was around ten
years ago, when we left Fairyland.
There was an enormous farewell party,
of course, and as part of the evening’s
festivities, Colby enacted a performance
which involved being suspended from meat-hooks
driven through the flesh above his shoulder blades.
He was then raised 50 or 60 feet, dangling
in the air above our heads. He held his hands
in front of him and remained in quiet repose
in the canopy of pecan branches while the
assembled party gaped below. Eventually
the police came, called by worried neighbors
who thought someone had done themselves in.
When we explained that what was happening
was a completely consensual performance,
they were fascinated, and wanted to stay
and watch. I had to remind them that it was
kind of hard to keep the party going with
them around, and they respectfully left-
still staring at the boy hanging in the trees
as they backed out the gate. I’ve been trying
to find the photographs I have of that
for days, but the boxes keep eluding me.
Hopefully I’ll find them soon. I still don’t know
exactly what happened to Colby, but I’m guessing
from the silence on the subject that it can’t have
been a good way to go. I know that the walls
between the living and the dead are more
permeable in New Orleans, and I think it
is one of the best cities that you could die in.
Maybe that sounds strange, but no where else
will there be a parade with a brass band to
escort you on your journey. I know that’s where
Noah wanted to die, and he just barely made it
there in time. If you didn’t have the opportunity
to meet him in this life, here he is in an assortment
of his most lavish personas and permutations:


A periwinkle dandy-lion, hiding in the thicket.


A lord and libertine, insanely decadent.
His painted mouth, twisted comically, cruelly
crooked glitter-red lips perfectly pursed.


He loved his black pug Stimpy enormously.
Underneath the pomp and circumstance,
he had a gentleness, a child-like nature, very playful.


In the absinthe pavillion he created at Gadjo Disko.


The goat-pope at Easter, giving the egg-hunt his benediction.


With Ooops the Clown, making mudras at Gadjo Disko.


He participated in the Fashion Show at the last Disko,
and his satirical pink Hitler fop, with paper doll underpants
was a fitting swan-song before leaving Austin, and Earth.


This photo was taken by Ooops after his last major heart surgery.
Noah had Marfan Syndrome, which affected his health in a lot of ways.
He was 33 when he died, and had commented recently that he had
outlived the life expectancy for someone with that disorder.
He died in the night, hopefully in his sleep.


In his own words he was..
“..A cake eating, ale swillin’, razor cheeked, gypsy fortune-teller.
Mercifully bereft of the ravages of indirect communication.
I am a classically schooled witch-doktor with an emphasis
on Afro-Carribean technologies. I am a dress maker, a tailor,
and an impromptu utilitarian. I am the unfortunate product
of pomp and circumstance, and in some cases I am
an unlikely anti-hero. I am skilled in the services I offer.”


R.I.P. Noah, aka Baron Zubi, and Colby-
may you both eat cake
with the guede and learn all their secrets.
One of Noah’s favorite sayings,
“…However mankind has baked his cake,
and he must eat it, every crumb,
and when he has done so
he can clap his plate on his head
and use it for a halo.”

13 comments

Sweetheart, I had a dream of you the other night. You sitting in a gazebo alone, poised and composed, as if posing for a painting. You were surrounded by fireflies… hundreds of tiny lights flickering around your face and shoulders, blinking off and on, off and on… you looked peaceful yet alert, and a little sad.

I don’t know anyone else who has had to write so many obits as you have, love. You do so very beautifully; I just wish you didn’t have to do it so often.

Cuddles for you, and candles lit in a faraway land for two of your fireflies…

Mer

by Mer on September 29, 2009 at 1:21 am. #

I am sorry to hear about your friend :(

My ex-boyfriend (and still good friend) Jesse, nicknamed “Bonez” has Marfan syndrome. I thought the life expectancy was around 50. Regardless, how sad :( He does make the best of his life, has a happy attitude, and decided after his diagnosis (and a couple of days of depression) that he wouldn’t waste his time being sad if he had a limited lifespan.
It sounds like your friend had fun with his life, too.

by Lorra on September 29, 2009 at 1:33 am. #

i’m so sorry bella, this is such a horrible horrible thing to come home to.

talk and stories are more important then ever in times like this. i’ve read a few of these entries here and they always make me cry and bubble up from my core in awe of amazing people and the radiance of light and love and bright shining things and the permanence of life well laughed and lived. and i just wanted to say your stories are such a beautiful and important tribute to these magic wonderful beings and to you. you, you. this is the most important gift you could give your friends, you beautiful beautiful girl.

love. xx

by annie on September 29, 2009 at 6:14 am. #

I’m sure they would be happy to hear your reverent words about them. Very sweet and heartfelt. I’m sorry for your loss! On a bright note, oh my goodness Stimpy..you are so special! xo

by Eliza on September 29, 2009 at 8:40 am. #

I’m so sorry. Seems like those of you from New Orleans have had enough loss to last many, many lifetimes. Thank you for sharing your friend’s extraordinary lives in your blog.

by OdetteO on September 29, 2009 at 12:06 pm. #

hello beautiful sistren. i’m sorry for your grief. i barely met noah, i think, but i certainly knew colby. i had no idea he died until reading this.
i love you…

by Kaia on September 29, 2009 at 1:23 pm. #

I’m so sorry sweet heart…

by amelia on September 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm. #

Oh, I’m sorry. I wish there was more I could say to offer succor.

As hard as it can be to write these tributes, I appreciate your generosity in giving us a glimpse of those who have touched your life. You capture people’s spirits so well.

by April Violet on September 29, 2009 at 5:09 pm. #

Hey Love,
Oh my, another friend too? I’m sorry to hear about your friend Colby. Thanks for contacting me right away about Noah. I’ve been talking to Andrea(aka ooops the clown,) she got a memorial plaque made for him that will be hung in St. Judes. (the secret Voodoo church in N.O.) That way we can all have a place to go and light a candle for him. He loved that church and often went there to make offerings to his favorite Santos. I wrote a little something on my blog too…take a peek!

by Lady Lavona on September 30, 2009 at 9:22 am. #

by dougling on October 4, 2009 at 2:15 pm. #

[...] aerial artist who recently choreographed and performed this piece as an homage to our friend Noah Vasilchek. With Niki Frisky as her deer-twin, and the inimitable Chris Lane as emcee, and a bunch of rowdies [...]

by Angeliska Gazette › Blue Chicory Honey on June 16, 2010 at 12:24 am. #

Noah, I missed you again, my old friend. I have been looking for a long time and I see that you have left this place. I knew you from another world, twenty years and more gone by. Remember the hitler costume you wore for spirit week? Remember graduation, painted like the Crow, galloping through the halls with coconut hoof beats? You who shook all the pillars of heaven, who wore the Hatter’s hat so well. You, the bravest of us, the artist, the wit, the adventurer. I looked for so long and now I see you one more time, here but not here. My old, old friend. I Love you and I remember. So many things. And I will remember. I promise.
–Yours, The March Hare

by Cody on August 4, 2010 at 7:23 pm. #

I knew you in the same world as Cody. The world is a less rich and diverse place with your passing. I don’t have any more words…

by Steven on August 5, 2010 at 7:14 am. #

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