It’s difficult to write this out, even though I knew this was how the story might end.
Jade Sharma is gone. Her savagely hysterical and heartbreaking novel Problems lives on in her absence. I guess that’s all a writer can hope for. She was outrageous and unpredictable at times, yes, and yet incredibly funny, sweet, kind, and tender-hearted.
I met Jade through the writing community Catapult. We became fast friends, bonding over our love of comedy, novels, and new wave cinema. She was an absurdist, a satirist, punk rock personified spitting fire and flipping the bird at the oh-so-polite status quo. She was deeply cynical and deeply hopeful. She knew better than anyone that life was equal parts tragedy and comedy, the distinction between the two murky at best.
Over two years, we wrote a TV pilot together called “Siblings”, an odd-couple brother-sister comedy about identity politics and the NYC literary scene. We would spend afternoons in her dark smoky apartment in the Lower East Side, talking about the absurdity of New York, love, sex, addiction, trauma, the artistic temperament (“touched by fire” as they say). We would riff off each other in marathon improv sessions, cracking up on the couch.
That’s how we got along, like siblings. And whenever she’d call out the blue, late at night, just wanting to chat about nothing or everything or whatever, I’d always pick up. Because she was my sardonic sister for a short time. And I miss her a lot.
Rest in peace, Jade.