Ah, Amy. Ya coulda been somebody. A talent like yours is rare — so raw and honest — and you tossed it away. But ya didn’t just let it wither and die on the vine. No, girl. You lit it up in a pipe of glass and watched it burn down the neighborhood.
I’m not blaming you for it. Whatever demons that possessed you, I don’t know. But clearly they had you by the throat and neither you nor they were willing to disengage. Clever, that song, “Rehab.” Making your name by mocking the very thing that might have saved your life.
I know only too well, though, that a life can’t be saved unless and until the owner of that life sees the need. You didn’t, that’s clear enough, and that’s what truly saddens me. You didn’t see enough behind those sad, deadened eyes in the mirror to toss off the shackles that bound you. And because of that, the music ends here.
We’ll just have to cherish what we have. But there coulda been so much more. You’ve left us here with the regrets, Amy dear, while you’ve ended the pain that drove you. Sure it was accidental, the official report will say, but you and I both know it was the end result of a slow, desperate suicide.
You were Billie Holiday on crack, Janis Joplin with a beehive, but your name may fade much faster than theirs ever will because you were Lady Day and Pearl on turbo overdrive, your habit and bent on self destruction consuming your creative fuel at a much faster rate.
Ah, but it was brilliant while it lasted. I’m sorry to see you go, but not the least bit surprised. It scares me just a little, though. Brilliance burns hotter and faster than ordinary, and it’s a delicate dance to avoid incineration by the thrust. That’s why Billie only made it to her 40s and Janis, like you, clocked out at 27. But look at that difference. And you, you made it to 27, but squandered more of your fire than we ever saw. I worry that we’ll never see the next one of you at all.
Well, what’s done is done. You’re feeling no pain now, and without the steady diet of mind-altering chemicals you lived on.
I just can’t help wondering what might have been, had you seen more worth when you stared into the foggy mirror through even foggier eyes.