Edward Albee, whose death was reported tonight by the NYT and The Washington Post, was my favorite playwright.
A line from “The Zoo Story” became one of the few texts committed to a memory not given to memorization:
“Sometimes a person has to go a very long distance out of his way to come back a short distance correctly.”
Albee’s line begged for sustained reflection. It described my life experience.
Life is not a straight line. It’s jagged. Sometimes it doubles back on itself. It coils and uncoils, breaks, and appears again from nowhere. We don’t go a short distance “correctly.” and those who have gone a short distance “correctly” (playing by the rules of social convention), often wonder whether they have been anywhere at all.
The NYT and Washington Post articles are worth the read. Edward Albee was not straight, but he understood that the deeper human issues transcend sexuality. They are intrinsic to the human condition.
Receiving today’s news of his death at home in Montauk, Long Island, I bow with thanksgiving for the gift.
- Gordon C. Stewart