- Posted on: 23 July 2008
- By: Jamie Tworkowski
There were kids in costumes but i felt far from them. They were dressed for a party but i was in line for something like a funeral. The posters said "Batman" but i was in line to say some strange goodbye to a guy i never met.
i remember the night that Heath Ledger died in New York City. Some friends of mine were playing Scrabble a few blocks away. Josh is one of my best friends and his wife Amy is kind. Their apartment is warm and they fill it with music and the Scrabble is simply a means to laughter. i remember thinking and wishing that Heath Ledger could have somehow found his way to Josh and Amy's apartment that night. Maybe that's a weird thought but it was simply the possibility that he would have been less alone, that he might have found a friend or been surprised by laughter... As for the movie, The Joker was alone.
We talked about it the next day and that was the thing we kept coming back to. He is completely alone. No gang. No sidekick. He doesn't trust anyone. He doesn't need anyone. He is so disconnected that we never even get to see his story. We never see the how or the heart of the why - we only see the madness. There is no great love that he is fighting for. It's not about the money - he sets that on fire. He values nothing. He loses himself.
i'll say what i said before, which is just that the death of Heath Ledger reminded us that life is a fragile precious thing. We were reminded that even our heroes ache with problems of pain. And medicine - or medication - it has the power to bring healing, and it also has the power to bring death.
Back in January, in real life, a father brother actor son named Heath Ledger lost his life. We don't know how he lived but it seems he died alone.
At some point, before we meet him, The Joker loses his mind. He lives alone.
Even Batman, the hero... He is carrying so much. And i think the weight we find in him... it's the ways that he's alone. He is driven by loss. His secret life means that he is known by few. There is a woman and he loves her but his choices keep him far from her.
As for us and now, the movie screen is traded for a computer screen, and the story being told is real and ours. Less clapping but just as much at stake. There's no genius ending to this writing, just the simple thing that we keep coming back to:
We weren't meant to be alone.
We need other people.
We need a friend.
We need a gang.
We need a family.
Hope is real.
Help is real.
Hope is real.
Help is real.
Those Scrabble games, the apartments warm and kind - we need to know that they really do exist. That the whole thing is possible. That life can be good. i am fighting to believe this in my own life. i have a long way to go but i'm learning that it's worth fighting for.
Peace to you from across the miles.