Little Boy Lost

This is going to be my long, maudlin Heath post. It will probably be the only one, so if you think this is all stupid and overwrought just go away and come back next week.


So here I am mourning a dead celebrity, someone I didn’t even know. Why did I spend all day yesterday watching movies and crying when there are Important Issues in the World Today, when I don’t mourn half so much over “real” people? I don’t know, I just know that Heath touched my heart, he stirred my admiration, and he made me smile. Which is more than I can say about most “real” people. I feel his loss very deeply. Look at this, if you can stand to…this is what we’ve lost:

We lost a beautiful boy, full of life. With eyes the color of fine whiskey and a smile…that fucking smile of his could power a city with its voltage. Heath had IT, the camera loved his face, he had that spark on the screen that I’ve talked about in others. That IT that compelled your butt into the theater and kept your eyes on the screen.

But the sadder thing is, even before Tuesday, we were already losing that boy. In fact, though I’m incredulous that he’s gone, I wasn’t actually surprised by Heath’s death. When BW told me Tuesday night that someone had died and it would probably ruin my day, I knew it was Heath. I hoped so hard that it would be someone else, but I knew it was Heath. You didn’t have to pay close attention to see that Heathbaby was deteriorating before our eyes. By 27 his looks were fading and he was regularly showing up to red carpet events dishevelled, greasy, and dressed like a homeless person. Everybody chalked it up to his famous “fuck Hollywood” stance, but all you had to do was scratch the surface to know that heavy drugs were also involved. Unlike a lot of celebs, he wasn’t a very obvious user and most people didn’t know about it. But the gossip was out there, and it was credible. I just always assumed that Heath was more of a party/recreational-but-functional user and I didn’t know that his downward spiral had gotten quite so steep.

And here’s where I get furious. Not just at Heath, but also at the people around him. I mean if –I– knew he was having serious drug trouble, then SURELY the people in his life did. His co-workers did. And yet you never heard anything about it! Everybody always has to pretend that it’s sunshine and roses in Hollywoodland. I’m thinking specifically of the interviews I’ve read with Michael Caine and Christian Bale about The Dark Knight, where they both just go ON praising and praising Heath and saying the sun shone out his ass, all sweetness and light. I don’t expect them to come out and say “Heath’s a junkie” in the press, but some small acknowledgment that all was not well. Maybe, “Heath is a wonderful young actor but he’s troubled right now and I hope he gets through it.” SOMEthing. I know that a user has to want to get treatment and other people can only do so much, but they weren’t doing Heath any favors by participating in his denial. They were enabling. But of course NOW the stories from friends and co-stars will begin to leak out…everybody will be stepping in front of a camera and claiming that they knew all along that poor Heath was a wreck…well why weren’t you fuckers speaking out BEFORE?!

It’s not as though he was a Sid Vicious or someone like that. I mean, I love Sid dearly and I’m sure he was a wonderful person, but if Sid had lived, he would not have contributed anything to the world or accomplished anything memorable. Sid is honestly better off as a dead icon. But Heath. Heath is a LOSS. A true loss. He had so much talent, he had only begun to explore his potential, he’d already given us wonderful things and would have only given us more. What are we gonna do without him now?

Heath, I’m sorry you felt that your career took so much out of you. You made some very stupid decisions and now you and we have to pay the price. But thank you…

For Jacob Grimm…
For Will…
For Ennis…
Because I know you will give us the best Mr. J ever…
Thank you for sharing your smile with us…

One Response to “Little Boy Lost”

  1. haley Says:

    The New York Post reported that cops are planning to grill Mary-Kate Olsen about frantic phone calls she received from the masseuse who found Heath Ledger dead in his bed.

    ThAT CRACK WORE!

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