It’s a well-known (and much-exploited) fact that adolescent girls tend to become rather obsessive in their infatuations, and I was no different. When I logged on to Facebook this morning and read that Corey Haim had died, I stared at the screen in a kind of half-stupefied way for about five minutes. It was surreal. It was like somebody had informed me that the 1980’s never really happened, that I had been in a coma and dreamt the whole thing.
I hadn’t really thought about him in years, of course, but as a teenager, my entire universe revolved around him. I was obsessed in a devout, meticulous, methodical kind of way. I tracked down every movie and interview and thirty-second TV clip in which he made an appearance, and watched them repeatedly. I cut out every tiny picture of his face from every magazine and kept them in a box. His preferences in books, music, movies, and fashion dictated mine. I observed his birthday as a personal holiday. And when I developed an actual genuine case of Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder, his name became a mantra that warded off misfortune and unspeakable thoughts.
Looking back on it, the OCD helped to draw out this infatuation long past its natural shelf-life. I became devoted to the infatuation itself as much as to its object. (It also provided my subconscious with an alibi when I started having crushes on girls in high school: Of course I’m not gay – look how obsessed I am with Corey Haim!) Over the years, as I began to heal myself of this particular neurosis, I boxed up this phase of my life and put it on a shelf in the back of my mind – and there it stayed, relatively untouched until this morning.
My thirty-three-year-old, emotionally and mentally stable, grown-up self felt a moment of surprise and pity, and then got on with her day. But the thirteen-year-old inside me, who had truly believed he was invincible in a godlike way, is shocked to her core.