Someone told me that as much as Les Plesko’s suicide is a pain we’ll carry for the rest of our lives, but knowing that he is finally free (free from his pain, free from the harsh life, the humiliation, the isolation, the abyss of this life) should be a consoling thought.
I told her that she was right. This pain will never go away and then told her that she was wrong since Les was always free. He died the same way he lived: as a free man. He did what he loved the most: writing. And he wrote the way he wanted to. He didn’t adapt to the changing world of publishing. He didn’t sell his soul to make a few more bucks. He taught the way he thought he would have loved to learn. In his class, we all read our pages and he always read at the end. We followed his doubts and struggle over his own page – brilliant page– while we were all in awe at his genius.
He lived as a modest man and yet was the most generous.
I still count on him to read the pages of my unfinished novel and to fill them with his crossed-outs, and Huhs and Cliches, plus – maybe- a few check marks. No, I am not ready to live in a world without Les. In my head, he is still looking at me shyly, with his toothless smile, wearing a white T-shirt from Goodwill, nodding “See ya next week!”, like telling me not to be scared of failing.
Please share your memories of Les: