#Happy New Year… Jan 3, 2014 – 30 Years Ago Sam Todd’s Disappearance was Real.

Posted by on Jan 3, 2014 in BLOG | 0 comments

#Happy New Year… Jan 3, 2014 – 30 Years Ago Sam Todd’s Disappearance was Real.
255 Canal Street - the Loft was on the 5th Floor

255 Canal Street – the Loft was on the 5th Floor

Now there was an eerie feeling in the loft.  We left the door open that night and the downstairs door ajar, just in case, waiting for Sam like we were waiting for Elijah. It was a Tuesday and when we  woke up in the morning hoping Sam would have snuck in and curled up under a blanket. It was with hollow disappointment that we looked at our empty couches, made coffee, dressed for work, made our way uptown, left the door open, just in case.

At night, when I got home from the Pilates studio and dance classes, we would scour the streets again. Walking on frozen sidewalks, calling Sam’s name–the desperation in our voices pitched with anguish. Despair. The colder it got the more serious it got, so we began to develop theories. A report written by Yale Divinity student, Paul Keane in 2011, divulges those theories and presents them fully formed.  We were just playing around with those theories in those early days, creating intellectual exercises to keep away the cold truth as we walked cold streets. One of the loftmates had a friend who disappeared a few years earlier and had showed up that fall–he had gone to India and studied with a guru or something, become an aesthete, returned to NYC and showed up at one of the loft parties. Drank for the first time in  three years and passed out in a corner. When he woke up the next afternoon he peered our of his corner and said, “How do I get to Grand Central from here?”

“You have to get downstairs first.” It was one of those stories from the loft that we loved to remember, and of course we had hoped that Sam had woken in someone else’s corner, but as that was less likely maybe he had now gone to India? Maybe he had decided to live with the homeless? Maybe…. We tried on theories like clothes and dressed in as many of them per day as I made costume changes. The ugly truth when someone disappears is that people begin to pick through the bones of that person’s life and dissect every bit of it, so something that may not have been important because it is the last conversation, the last dance, the last class becomes a clue. The human mind loves a mystery but it prefers the game of a mystery that is solvable — the unsolvable drive us mad.

My madness was just beginning. Sam Todd was not the first person in my young life to disappear. When I was 15, a friend of mine in high school, disappeared outside the Pontiac Silver Dome in Michigan, the night of The Who concert. It was January. His girlfriend was in my creative writing class.  In February his body was found in a nearby lake. He had been murdered…


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