Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dead and the City

I walked by Heath Ledger's apartment yesterday---there were no less than 5 television news vans with antennaes reaching to the sky--the media has taken over Broome Street, with lights and cameras on tripods--and a full television staff a-buzzing.

Pretty women with fluffed up hair and make-up pucker before the cameras, squinting newscaster serious. I hear one say with dramatic flair: "First we'll tell you how the body was found, and then...the 911 call!"

A producer nearby says, "Ok, now try it a little more natural."

The newscaster woman shakes it out, then breathes deep, and repeats fake-natural, with a little smirk: "First we'll tell you how the body was found, and then...the 911 call." Her career is on the rise. Heath Ledger's death could be her big break.

Pedestrians walk past, some drop flowers at the doorstep. Another puts a sign that reads "Andy Warhol would have loved you, Heath!" (Is that a compliment? A eulogy? Spare us all.)

Nanette Lepore is probably thrillled, because the sign above her store is getting some major press coverage. It's a hive of activity around the SoHo apartment, and that's what gets me about this city. We're constantly buffered by people everywhere.

You're buffered and protected and immune from having to make any real sort of actual human connection.

You can be lonely and depressed and afraid, and nobody will ever know. Nobody has to know. You can walk outside and the masses will absorb it. If Heath Ledger killed himself, I hope he can't see the buzzards now swarming.

2 comments:

Dop said...

I've never really understood gathering at the place of a person's death. Not sure if it's to feel closer to the person, or if we think their spirit is still there or something. Either way, its creepy.

JPFREEMAN said...

I hear ya what your singing, and Mr. L's untimely death is a tragedy no matter how the actual means. however, he made it. Heath makes/made a difference both in life and in death. Thousands of people die a day, but only a choice few get news crews and international concern--even if sensational--when they pass.