Today, I helped bury my dear friend Chloe Weil.
I first met Chloe thirteen years ago, in an elective high school health ed course called “Death & Dying.” Remembering that makes me laugh now, darkly. There was something dreadfully apropos about it then, and it’s even more devastatingly perfect now.
We rolled our own social media outlets back in the day. She maintained a proto-Twitter feed in which each entry was precisely 101 words long. She documented her teenage life in stark detail online, with the same clarity, maturity, observational prowess and humor that attracted so many to her in recent years. We bonded over our personal websites when we were sixteen. Her site was always better than mine. On April Fools Day, we switched our index.html pages and befuddled our friends.
Chloe was the least sentimental person I’ve ever met — she routinely shredded her ephemera and jettisoned old projects with ease — so I feel vaguely guilty telling you too much about her. But goddamn it, I want to make sure you understand.
I want you to know that she vibrated at a different frequency. I don’t really know how to put it any other way. Her raw talent just seemed so effortless. Her dark discomfort wouldn’t allow her to see how loved she was, or how incredible, or how talented. But you can see it, and you don’t need my help. Read for yourself. She will stop you in your tracks.
Chloe and I didn’t always sync up, but when we did it always involved a fantastic, hilarious, unreal voyage. She visited me in college and we spent the entire weekend doing nothing but silently typing to each other on our laptops — it was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had. A few years later, we met up in the City and circumnavigated Central Park one evening, staying up sitting on a bench just chatting until 7am. It was one of the best nights I’ve ever had. And a couple of summers ago, we met up with our friend Jon and walked through the wilds of Red Hook, marveling at every dark corner and fortress-like tower and pier to nowhere. It was one of the best twilights I’ve ever had. We’re all lifelong Brooklynites, so none of this should have impressed us, but when you’re walking with Chloe, you’re on the adventure of a lifetime. Every single time.
I hadn’t seen Chloe in a few months, but I did get to have one more adventure with her recently. I had a dream about her a couple of weeks back. I scrawled it down in the middle of the night and emailed it to her in the morning, and here it is.
Dream Chloe met up after a long time. Walking around. Lots of abandoned carnicerias. There was a time lord. Some guy got sucked into an engine block. Beautiful ethereal bats shadows. Someone waiting for a flight had hacked in and pretended to be you. We talked about our relationships and making time for our friends. You said you only liked my sister. Some people were taking wedding photos in a car, lit from outside. You weren’t sure how to get home from there.