For some of us, when the final penny finally drops, we’ll crawl to rehab or to wherever or whatever it is that will finally bring the peace of clean and sober. For others, the final penny will drop only with the moment of death. And none of us know which penny will be ours. None of us.
Or which one will be the last, for that matter.
What needs to be said, brutally and beautifully about addiction and Amy Winehouse’s death can be found in Russell Brand’s “For Amy.” Read it the whole thing, but here’s a taste:
All addicts, regardless of the substance or their social status share a consistent and obvious symptom; they’re not quite present when you talk to them. They communicate to you through a barely discernible but un-ignorable veil.
A softer, but no less apt tribute by Duff at Reverb:
I only know that addiction is a lonely and terrifying place to be. It’s not glamorous, and addiction does not care if you are well-known and rich, or a loner-hermit with no dough.
They are both entirely worth the read.
Addicts, the ones I’ve encountered in the last few days, myself included, have reacted with a bit of recoil: Experience, Strength, and Hope is ALWAYS tempered by the reality that reminds what the other path will hold. Amy’s death is one such reality. And before her Andrew. Kurt. Janis. Jim. Jimi. Jimmy. Layne. And scores of others heralded by first name to the family of fans and by so much more to friends and family, some of whom might have waited for the call. And waited. And prayed it was a cry for help or a resolution to find another way. Accident or intent is irrelevant when the other call comes.
A penny dropped. And with it went a voice. A godmother. A friend. A daughter.