Friday, June 27, 2008


I got home early today and watched Access Hollywood. I prefer it to Entertainment Tonight, though I'm not sure why. They did a segment on Amy Winehouse, interviewing the journalist who wrote this simple yet searing profile for Rolling Stone on the state of the singer today. I watched the whole show just so I could see the Amy segment, because I loved the article so much when I read it a few days ago.

The journalist, Claire Hoffman, began talking. She looked about my age, and as she spoke about seeing Amy living in filth, depressed, and missing her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, I began to cry, because, like it or not, I identify with Amy. I don't want to identify with her, but I do. I am obsessed with reading about her lately.

I understand what it's like just to want to stay in the house and do drugs (or escape in some way -- booze, whatever) when the man you love is away, whether he deserves that devotion or not. Amy has made her existence Blake.

Amy wrote Back to Black during one of her breakups with Blake. Listen to it. I'm listening to it now. The lyrics are true and honest.

In the Rolling Stone story, Hoffman says that Amy's "trust is remarkable." Amy is kind to her fans, even talking about her wardrobe with two fans over an intercom. Amy's friend tells her she thinks she may have been in love before, and Amy says, "No, no, if you had, you'd be dead because you weren't together." Oversimplifying and juvenile, okay, but still, to me, there's something tangible to relate to. I relate to all of it.

Lately all I feel are restrictions: self-imposed, mostly. Like tonight: I'm drinking wine alone in my apartment, because I don't want to go to a bar by myself; I know I shouldn't go to a bar myself, because I've done that before, and all it led to was bad decisions, spent money, and self-loathing. I want to eat something else tonight, but I know that if I do I'll gain weight, and one of the only things that makes me feel good about myself lately is how thin I am: the thinnest I've been in years. I want to smoke -- I've smoked four cigarettes in the past two weeks, and I am disappointed in myself for that, but I'm more sad that I don't really care that much -- but I don't want to leave my apartment, and I don't want to make my bed smell like smoke. I want to call N -- he's on vacation in California -- but I shouldn't because I don't want to bother him, I don't want to be That Girl, and my therapist says he's supposed to chase me. I have people I could go out with, friends that I could call (someone from my past just called me to come hang out downtown; I pushed "mute" on the ringer), but if I did I'd have to spend money (which I don't have much of right now) and make pleasant conversation and feign concern about others and their feelings through my boozy haze, and I am less and less willing to do that as the years wear on.

In the article, you can tell Amy doesn't care much about working anymore, though you can see she's still passionate about singing and has new musical ideas. Music was her base. But that was then, and this is now, during and after Blake, which I'm speculating is the only thing she's felt passionate about in a long time.

I feel that way.

I feel that way about my work, which was always my first priority. I sometimes do read things that I love and get excited about the prospect of writing something that I love or others will love, but I have no follow-through. My feelings of failure about the disintegration of the romantic life that I tried so hard to create have eclipsed a lot of things. I try to get excited about movies or TV shows -- those normal things that normal people look forward to and talk about around the water cooler. I told myself that when I got home I was going to watch a DVD, but I didn't. I never do. I talk a great big game, about how I want to stay true to myself and be positive and make things work for me and not sell myself out. I think my friends and my therapist believe me.

But...the truth?

I've gotten everything I've ever wanted. Every. Single. Thing. The job, the city, the apartment, the friends, the (sometime) boy. I feel...done. Everything else feels like filler. Other accomplishments as addendums to what I already wanted long ago seem unrealistic, and just I don't have the energy anymore to get water from a stone, the way I did in my ambitious days. The hours crawl by. I count hours and minutes until I can go home for the day.

That's why I prefer to sit here, drinking $7.99 malbec and watching as the empty identical wine bottles, in a span of a couple of days, take their place in line next to one another on my kitchen countertop.

People want Amy to get better -- kick the habit, get back to the music, dump Blake, not to die. But, aside from standard concern for your fellow human beings, I wonder why they want that for someone they don't know. So she'll make us another record that we can dance to at retarded, overpriced dance clubs and sing karaoke to upstairs at Japanese sushi bars? Maybe just let her be. Maybe she just wants to be left alone.

Sometimes the demons don't leave.

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