It was the hair and the missing tooth that caught my eye. The giant bee-hive hair which looked like an image from a 1960s yearbook. When she smiled or sang, a gap in the right side of her upper bridge showed, and I was both disgusted and compelled to look. Why didn’t she get her teeth fixed, I wondered. Was it some kind of activism? Some sort of feminine protest against unrealistic male standards of female beauty? I had no idea but every time I felt less than stellar walking out of my house, I’d think, at least I have all my teeth.
Amy Winehouse probably blipped across your radar screen for a different reason: her god-given pipes. The sultry, husky sound of her jazzy voice was blared all over the place during 2006, the summer Rehab came out.
They tried to make me go to rehab
I said no, no, no.
The lyrics struck me as weirdly personal. Like a cry for help. But that voice was just amazing.
I saw her on tabloid covers – she was a mainstay in the tabs from her first flicker of fame until last week. She was always great for a tabloid story – the boozy, high, girl on a self-destructive highway to hell. It sold magazines.
And now she’s dead at the age of 27. I will miss her jazzy songs, and the fact that no matter how bad I looked I could comfort myself that I wasn’t Amy Winehouse fucked-up. I guess that’s a poor reason to like someone. I’m not proud of it – but it is the truth. She was the yardstick against which I could judge myself – she was the low point that made me realize I would have a long, long way to go before I was anywhere nearly as fucked up as she was.
I have never done drugs. I don’t even understand them. But I know what it is like to be terrified of life, and to try to fill that self-hatred inside of you with other things. I guess I felt some sort of kinship with her because I knew darkness too, and I’ve clumsily at times tried to monkey way through it, only to fail and fail and fail.
She seemed like a nice girl, if you’d ever get past the drugs. She seemed really scared. But then, I could always spot a trapped animal from a mile away.
Rest in peace, Amy.