Pop Star Dead at 22
Dave Housley

Do you know what it's like when Myspace tells you they have to pull your profile because you're getting too much traffic? When Spencer Pratt friends you on Facebook? And then the next day, Brody Jenner? I mean they are friending you. You know what that's like? I do, bro. It's fucking awesome.

And then all of the sudden, the bottom just drops out? Dude. One minute you're cruising down the street, waiting for a callback from the people at Best Week Ever. The next, you're reading the headline on TMZ — Pop Star Dead at 22.

Now everything else is going to be after, and before is going to be the good times, like those 80's drug movies where everything is awesome and funny and bubbly soundtrack until somebody's nose starts bleeding, and then it's all rehab, narcs, and power ballads, everybody crying and getting too skinny and sad and ugly.

I remember before — that night, when we were getting ready to go out and I was like, I don't know if I should wear the Calvin Klein boxer briefs or the Hugo Boss tighty-whiteys, and something in my gut said tighty-whitey, dude. And I didn't think much about it until way later, after her people came over and told us to go into the private room, and our crew is hanging with her crew and we're all looking at each other going, Dude, I can't believe this either, but trying to be cool about it, too, like this happens to us all the time. And she's like, Let's go skinny dipping! And I'm like, Sure! And later on, when we're by the pool, and I'm trying to catch a glimpse and her people are taking away my cell, she's all, I really like a man in tighty whiteys. And I laughed and felt kind of like a tool, you know, because she is her and I'm like just some random dude at the bar, right? And she was like, Seriously, I really do.

That's how she was, though. Old fashioned. Honest. Like, I believe she really did like a dude in tighty whiteys, and not many chicks will tell you that and really mean it.

She was different.

People say they could see it coming and maybe that's the case if you weren't actually there. If you were, like, you know, so far away from her that you could sit up there in your glass tower, you might say, I, dude in glass tower, can totally see it happening: this pop star, who we all love like the sexy girl next door you want to not just hook up with but maybe actually cunnilingate in a loving fashion — that's how clean and nice and wholesomely sexy she was — she's heading for a Heath Ledger and she's heading there fast.

People might say all we shared was that one night but they don't understand. They didn't really know her. Not like me. Like I told Perez, I don't kiss and tell, but let's just say that yes, we were intimate, and that yeah, there's a real good chance we were going to be in love.

Did you know I texted her the night she died? She was pronounced at midnight, and I texted at like ten. I wonder if she got it, but there's no way I can know. I think about that a lot, whether it would have made a difference.

I picture her there, just before — maybe she's wearing a dress, kind of frilly, a little old fashioned, a little southern, not the kind of thing that's going to ride up while she gets out of a limo. Maybe she's not wearing any makeup and yeah, maybe she has a few zits, like a real girl, but prettier. Her hair is still a little wet from the shower and she's sitting there in her hotel room, way up on top of the LA hills, and maybe she's thinking about me — that one guy, the normal one, tighty-whitey guy who went skinny dipping and made out and shared a few laughs, a Marlboro Menthol or two, the guy who maybe reminds her of all the guys back home who she never got a chance to date — the not bad guys, the ones who would have been normal and nice and treated her good, who maybe would have taken her out for an ice cream sundae, a trip to the movies, a real date. A nice one.

I picture her there with her legs tucked under her, twirling a piece of hair and thinking about how did a nice girl like her even get into in a place like this and does anybody understand at all, and maybe she's wondering what happened to that one guy who seemed like maybe he could, like maybe he did understand.

I wonder if she ever got my text. Here's something I never told anybody before — not even People. You don't even have to mention my name, not if you don't want to. That's how serious I am about all this.

That last text, it said "Howz it goin gurl?" So maybe that's what her last text said: Howz it goin, gurl? Think about that: her last text. That shit should be in the Smithsonian.

When I sent it, I meant so much more. I meant this means so much to me. I meant I have finally arrived. I meant every day of delivering pizzas and folding t-shirts and working out and trying new things with my hair until it was just fucking right was all worth it. I meant thank you.

I wonder if she got it. I wonder if she understood.

What do you think?

Anyway, like I said before, you can use it if you want to.

Dave Housley is the author of the collection, Ryan Seacrest Is Famous.

To link to this story directly: http://wigleaf.com/200908popstar.htm

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