According to the NYPD Jeremy Blake, 35, swam out from Rockaway Beach into the Atlantic on Tuesday evening, after his partner Theresa Duncan committed suicide last week.
There’s danger signs everywhere. The Rockaways continue to be a site of disproportionate tragedy. The waters off New York and Long Island continue to call on our city’s artists. This summer’s play is Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice, which (for the first time) takes the woman’s point of view on the familiar tale of the distraught Orpheus’s journey to the underworld to rescue his lost beloved.
Later today, a big enough group will gather for the Siren Festival at Coney Island, a couple of miles from the Rockaways in the direction of the tide. Among the performers this afternoon is Elvis Perkins, who may be, calling Orpheus, today’s most threnodic musician. I know it’s four days too late, but if the mythic pull of lost love was powerful enough to lure Blake into the sea, there may still be a chance the mythic power of the sirens can call him back to shore.