I think I knew this might happen. I wish I'd been wrong.
Anna Nicole Smith was a brave, berserk warrior-woman who'd long ago thrown herself into the breach, and gotten lost on a long and twisted road to nowhere. She lived between warring hordes of lawyers and furious heirs. She was your friend from high school, the one you laughed with until dawn, but who had a hole inside that ate at her smile and pushed her into bad places and worse decisions. Now, you can't find her. This was a girl who burned from rejection since childhood, and only her own child could really ever ease that pain. She was nuts, fun, beautiful, and doomed. She jumped into everything half-assed in her desperate quest to fill that hole inside, and that's how you end up married at 17 to a 16 year old boy. That's how you end up a single mom at 18. That's how you end up having to quit working at Wal-Mart to feed your child by exotic dancing.
Really, her entire life was just that, exotic dancing to feed her son. Working what she had, and she had alot to work, shaking her moneymaker to MAKE MONEY. And she did. You can be an exotic dancer, but you can do it bigger by posing for Playboy. And you can do that bigger by being the Guess! Jeans girl. And after that? How do you do that bigger? For Anna, life was a series of golden hoops to jump through and get what she could, while she could, as if there wouldn't be anything left for her tomorrow.
Celebrity is cruel, especially to someone motivated by a dread of rejection, whose only strategy is exhibitionism. New York magazine put her picture on the cover and called her "white trash" in big yellow letters. That was hard to laugh off, and made it hard to continue playing at being an all-american spokesmodel . A decade later, her reality TV show had people calling her a moron and ridiculous, terms far more uncharitable than a sensitive, insecure big hearted woman in need of love can endure with a smile. The hole inside had to get colder and more painful
She wanted a man who would be good for her son, and who could be better than an eightysomething millionaire ready to both die AND get married? The more self-righteous can snort and sneer and say that money is not love, and she was somehow bad for pursuing the two together, but she'd already tried love without money, and it had left her destitute. Money, on the other hand, came rolling in as soon as she put herself out there to really be seen, and with it came all that wonderful adoration, wealthy men bending over backwards to give her things. And she could go home knowing that she was not letting her son down, that she was getting for him as much as there was to get. I, for one, always found that to be beautiful.
A whole life, using one of the world's most superlative bodies and least cunning minds to battle it out with her husband's heirs for a piece of his money, spending hundreds of thousands in the pursuit of millions. How must it feel to watch it all go down the drain? How terrifying is it to think that in the end, you might lose, and be so deep in debt and legal fees that you might as well die?
Well, she always had her son, to love and to fight for, to always remind her of what she could never, ever go back to. And, as with so many loving mothers, that was enough, that was her strength. Until five months ago.
Five months ago, Anna Nicole Smith's son Daniel died right in front of her, a day or so after the birth of his first little sister.. And when she lost him, everything she had done and been through, since she left her job at that Wal-Mart a lifetime ago, was suddenly for nothing, and the future turned into a cold and black place, and that hole inside exploded. She fell right in. She couldn't take it. To her, Daniel had always been her one bright spot. Now it was all pain. When she lost him, she lost herself.
Goodbye, Daniel. Goodbye Anna. When I first knew who you two were, back in 1992, I would never have predicted such a sad end for you.
She was not the smartest woman, or the best example. She was under no obligation to be either. She careened through life on luck and bad judgement, and now all that running for her life is over. To the outside world, she was outrageous and kind of a joke. Her real life was a frightening world of legal brinksmanship, high stakes gambles, self-degradation, uncertain futures, and relief through pills, certainly anything but funny. Now, it is all over, and I hope to God that her soul has found her son again and found some peace. I hope those two lost children they stay happily ever after, in that afterlife we hope is there, and that she finds the peace and love she didn't find in life. I hope that hole inside is gone now.