Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hoarders among us.

Homer and Langley, E. L. Doctorow

A historical fiction of the infamously hoarding Collyer brothers of New york City, I found this story a bit melancholy in nature.

Based on the true story of Homer and Langley Collyer this gives a possible first person narrative of these men who were both found dead in their Harlem home, Langley after several days search.

In this story Homer speaks of his life and involvement with his collecting brother Langley. While both are described as anti social and anti establishment, Homer is presented as a follower in his brothers fancies.

This was beautifully, if not hauntingly written. I hurt for the blind Homer's being drawn along with and into his brother's madness. I found myself reminded of my maternal aunt's hoarding and fearful that I could become like a Collyer.

In life the character's were a bit different, I was compelled to find out more about the two & the true story as it is known is a bit different although no less moving or sad. Langley was found in a tunnel of his own making, having been crushed to death by his own created booby trap, 8 - 10 feet from where his brother was found, paralyzed, malnourished and dead. It took days for police and firemen to find Langley hidden underneath his own collections.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Voyeurism at it's best!

Why do I find myself attracted to the screwed up lives of celebrities, especially musicians? Fall to Pieces by Mary Forsberg-Weiland, helped me fulfill this sordid attraction to famous drug addicts. I suppose there's something to my attraction to the screwed up men, yes, I'm one of those which is why I married "out of type", I have at least acknowledged that my "type" is very, very bad for me.

I remember in the nineties when Stone Temple Pilots were recording in Atlanta. Many of my friends thought STP sucked but I have always liked Scott Weiland's voice & thought it was very cool that he was hanging out at my bar when they were in town. He was playing eye contact with my friend one night when he suddenly disappeared. Later she was waiting for the bathroom line, which was always a long wait on a busy night but was particularly long this night, when he came crashing out of the bathroom, pin holed eyes, crazy looking and grabbed at her. This was the last attraction for her, she was scared & left the bar shortly after.

This same week it turns out that he turned my friends sister onto shooting heroin. She had been snorting it but didn't shoot until he came to town. She's dead now, she ended her life with a shot to the head. My friend had to identify the body, a gruesome thing for him to do. He will always blame Scott Weiland for this, although I'm not sure he is entirely to blame.

So reading this autobiography was a step back in time in a way. It was also a filler for what I figured was happening in the life of this rock star. Mary Forsberg-Weiland had a love affair with Scott Weiland for years, whether consummated or not. Scott Weiland was married to someone else for many of these years yet Mary loved him anyway.

Like Scar Tissue, Anthony Kiedis' autobiography of his life with drugs, I believe this was written to set the record straight, for redemption & even for money I'm sure. For me it was just an easy read, fulfilling my voyeuristic tendencies reminding me that life could be so much worse and making me thankful that I can at least see now that my type is such a bad idea.

If you're into biographies I would recommend this as an easy read, simply written.