Cory Monteith is dead. I have watched Glee (many times – I own every episode on DVD) from episode one, season one. I saw/swooned over Finn Hudson singing in the shower and marvelled at how he fell in love with Rachel and wished they would never break up. Just like every other teenage girl on the planet.
I loved the character he played for so many reasons: his cute smile, his naivety, and his good, clean, down-to-earth American guy-ness. He was just so perfect. And then along came Rachel Berry and the two seemed to make such a cute couple: it just worked for me and all my girly whims. So I guess we have had a relationship for about three years. Ups and downs, etc etc. But now he is dead. And the reason he died, a heroin/alcohol related tragedy was like a hammer to my head.
Cory and heroin? You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me.
He just wasn’t 'the type.'
But then I remembered a friend of mine who overdosed on heroin while I was at university. I never even knew he was using drugs until he was admitted to hospital in a nearly-dead state. We had had dinner together just the week before and he seemed absolutely fine. This was someone I actually knew. Someone I had known for almost a decade. As in, we were friends. Not just a television character. And then I realised. How well can we possibly ever know anyone? If they choose to keep a secret that deep and that serious to themselves, what will eventually expose the truth, if anything?
Some people don’t share their lives easily. Just this morning I was talking with a group of girls and openly discussing some fairly personal issues. Nothing too hectic, but still, there was one woman present I had never even met. I later realised that I had perhaps ‘overshared.’ But I have, perhaps mistakenly, never seen this as a bad thing. I like to think, again, perhaps mistakenly, that people generally know where they stand with me. I’m a ‘wear-your-heart-on-my-sleeve-kinda-gal.’
But Cory, and by that same measure, my friend too, play behind a façade. They had a double agenda; a double persona, if you will. There’s the side you see, and then the side you don’t. I don’t know how healthy that is in the long run. For Cory, it certainly didn’t work out.
Look at me, calling him Cory as if we knew one another on a first name basis!
Mr Monteith lived a life of duplicity and it eventually caught up with him. How damn sad. The Google images attached to the search “RIP CORY MONTEITH” have cliché’d slogans attached to them, like “You saved our life, but we couldn’t save yours,” and sad scenes from the break up between Finn and Rachel, with finality notes attached to them. It’s quite macabre. But I guess, his fans, people who feel they know him, need to express their loss. I haven’t gone that far. But then, there is this blog. Ironically, my friend who od’d did save my life. Maybe I should make some kind of tribute picture for him? Is this what we’re doing now?
I wonder, had he lived, if Cory would ever have been open about his illness, the addiction, I mean. I wonder if he would have married Lea Michele or moved on at a later stage to someone else. Perhaps even another Glee co-star? I wonder if his new movie, (McCanick,) is going to be a hit or a miss, and whether the fact that he died of a heroin overdose after acting in a film as a ex-heroin addict is going to help sell tickets at box office. I wonder if he would have been more honest about who he was, how he felt and where he wanted to be in the world, had he survived.
His professional acting aside, I wonder, if one has started living a life of such duplicity, such apparent duality, you can ever become a straight shooter again. And I don’t mean that he could never be clean, (because I have seen addicts healed,) just of personality that is always a little more guarded and somewhat misleading. Surely a leopard stays a leopard?
As a person who is often accused of over-investing in relationships and over-sharing personal information, it would be very hard for me to change my spots. But maybe people who like to play their cards closer to their chest, find my manner of approach a bit brazen. Who knows?
I'm going to miss Cory Monteith. I hear the writers of the show have decided to leave the question of Finn Hudson’s death up to the audience, but they will let him ‘die’ in Glee too. There is going to be a special tribute episode to him. I know I will bawl for the entire forty minutes or so. My heart, (and thousands of others,) will ache as if I/we knew him, as if he were real, as if he were my/our friend; when in fact, I didn’t know him at all.
It’s the first time, since Freddy Mercury, River Pheonix and Kurt Cobain died, that I actually feel sad about a celebrity death. Like it really is a waste. Had my friend died on the night he od’d, I would probably still be in mourning, over a decade later. Part of the mourning would be from the absolute shock of discovering his secret dependence. Part of it also smarting from a friendship based on a lie. But the largest part, would be the sadness at the future lost.
And I think that is what resonates with me about Mr Monteith. It’s all the ‘what ifs?’ and the ‘could of’s’ because he was so young, at only thirty one years old. But also because he seemed so genuine. A photograph of him as a ‘Basketball Diaries’ type of character – wasted and dirty and lost - is yet to emerge; a seedy secret about him is yet to be exploited. From what we know, he just seemed so, well, so great.
I guess my point is, unless someone is willing to share with you their true self, how well will you ever really know them? Finding out that someone you admired/cared about/loved has lied to you, well that just sucks. As a fan, a serious Gleek, there’s a huge part of me that is so cross with Mr Monteith for letting it come to this end that I would just smack him if I could. But then the part of me that’s so sad at losing him speaks up and says, ‘Be still, heart, your friend is no more.’ And as lame as it sounds, I have to say, with an honest sigh, along with all other Gleeks out there: Goodbye, Cory.