Life Interrupted, The Unfinished Monologue, was Gray’s last work. He was a pretty well-known actor, appearing in such films as The Killing Fields and Steven Soderbergh’s Gray’s Anatomy. He is best known for his one-man shows on Broadway, a lone man sitting at a desk, with a glass of water and a notebook, performing the monologues of his life. He was still working on Life Interrupted, and suffering from intense depression, when he died in 2004, another tragic suicide in which it is believed that he jumped off the Stanton Island ferry, his body found in the East River a week later.
Life Interrupted sort of tells the initiation he had into his depth of depression, recounting the tale of the car accident he was in on a trip to Ireland with his wife and some friends. Heavily present throughout the reader can feel “a lot of death in the air.” The accident left Gray’s right hip crushed, an injury he never fully recovered from, and an injury to his brain from a cranium fracture, that went undetected for some time (Irish hospitals were not up to snuff, and quite filthy it seems during his stay). Gray’s intense and honest words hold the reader captive. I could only imagine him acting them out on stage, or perhaps I’d rather have listened to him over a glass of wine in the living room just sharing his thoughts straight out…laughing and crying at the same time.
I’ll leave you with the end quote:
“I’ve never been able to give advice before in my life. I’ve always been a relativist, and someone who felt that he didn’t know. Even as a father it’s been difficult to say what exactly one should and should not do in this world of confusing, relativistic, movable-feast morality. But I have to say that I now can give advice around one issue, or two issues: Always wear your seat belt in the back seat of the car, which I’m sure you know, whether you do it or not. And whatever you do, get an American Express platinum card–it’s only three hundred dollars extra–so you can be medevacked the fuck out of a foreign country if you get in an accident.
Thank you for coming tonight.”