Today I was reading about addictions which immediately made me think of my favourite addicts (favourite addicts? what? You must be thinking I am beyond dysfunctional right now. I don’t mean River Phoenix or Lindsay Lohan. Stick with me)
Harry Goldfarb and Marion Silver are the main characters in one of my favourite films and books, Requiem for a Dream. They are my favourite addicts because they aren’t real they are only characters and the actors themselves are not addicts.
This novel was written in 1978 by Hubert Selby, Jr., one of my favourite authors. Eventually it was made into a movie movie by Darren Aronofsky in 2000. In the book I was reading today it referenced a coping mechanism of addictions is “making light” of such a serious topic to help us process it. So that is what this little ramble is for me tonight.
The story is about three friends and one friend’s mother, who over the course of nine months (summer, fall, winter) have their lives destroyed by addiction. I studied it, cried over it, analysed it and lived/living with elements of it. If you haven’t read it or watched it you should. It’s one of the most emotionally honest films/books created.
It changed my life. If you know someone struggling with addiction, it might change theirs too. (…but then again I am still a diet coke addict so maybe it didn’t change it THAT much…anyway…)
Harry and Marion.
Where do we start. Undoubtedly two of the most attractive addicts you will ever see. Harry is played by Jared Leto who in recent times has risen to A-List hotness on account of his hair alone. I don’t know many people that can claim this type of awesomeness. He also happens to be my favourite actor and waaaaay before his Oscar win for Dallas Buyers Club. We are talking about the My So Called Life days. I also rather fancy his music. I will blog about the amazingness that is Jared Leto some other time.
Marion is played by Jennifer Connelly and she is my favourite female actresses. House of Sand and Fog, A beautiful mind and let’s not forget Labyrinth. She will be thanked in my first Oscar acceptance speech as one of my female idols and sources of inspiration.
Good looking addicts. No shortage of them (Kurt Cobain, Marilyn Monroe) Perhaps it all starts here before it all goes so wrong. They seem to have it all. I mean who wouldn’t be attracted to Harry Goldfarb and Marion Silver. They are living the twenty – somethings idyllic lifestyle. They are New York dwellers that have a grungy, warehouse apartment in which they can throw good parties. Particular reference goes out to the bath and bathroom. Finding a good bathroom in New York is a challenge. Finding one with a decent bath, one that you can fully immerse yourself in, virtually impossible. They knew they were onto a good thing. Marion and I would probably be great friends based on this mutual love for baths
Inadvertently whilst watching this harrowing film on addictions, my Jared Leto addiction can be traced back to this moment in time. I can also openly say that I watched the whole movie with my other addiction in my hand, diet coke. We all have them right? Can we really class what is worse or better than? I mean I like to think my addictions are all relatively harmless; chocolate labrador mauling, diet coke, mascara. On the surface maybe. But what you don’t see is the detrimental effects of these addictions. I am broke from buying mascara after mascara. I am addicted to the hope that I will get a free mascara sample on a magazine. I will forgo a meal if it means a new mascara is on the cards. You don’t see my eyes and the delicate tissue around them that is suffering from the poking and the prodding of trying to get my mascara just right. No one sees the stalking I do of the parks in hope that a dog, any dog, will appear. My blood sugar is in a constant state of insulin spikes and yes, I know all about the detrimental effects of phenylalanine, caffeine and artificial sweeteners. I have given up that fizzy brown goodness but only to see if I could, what a stupid idea that was. I can’t tell you if that’s me or my addiction talking right now.
Marion is such a beautiful junkie that she actually still looks impeccable after throwing up. In fact even after her degrading sexual adventures her make up is in tact! It really is something to admire that despite the debilitating effects of her addiction and withdrawal , she still has the cognitive functioning to apply makeup. Not just any make up either. Makeup for each situation. Sweatproof/smudgeproof that lasts even after a night of prostitution. BRAVO Marion. Even as an addict you know the importance of makeup.
As for Harry, well he just drops these bombs…
” You are beautiful. You’re the most beautiful girl in the world. You are my dream.” and
“Somebody like you can really make things all right for me” . Hook, line, sinker. GONE.
Maybe the most important lesson here is that I’m grateful my only addiction is to diet coke and it means never having to go “ass to ass” like Marion. If you are going to pick an addiction, pick one that’s low maintenance e.g. diet coke is cheap and easily available.
In all seriousness, I’m hoping I don’t have to watch people I care about and love deteriorate and disintegrate like Harry and Marion. No one likes to come second to an addiction. Here’s hoping…