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Everybody’s searching for a hero.

February 21, 2012

Whitney Houston as a childOne morning last week on the light rail train, I sat next to a woman who was talking on her cell phone. I was reading my book but couldn’t help a little eavesdropping.

“The media’s just playing it up,” my seatmate said into the receiver. “The doctor said the prescription drugs they found in her cabinet were no more than a normal person would have.”

I knew right away about whom my seatmate was talking, and I felt satisfied.

I’m no bigger of a Whitney Houston fan than most people. Still, I was stunned by the death of someone who’d been young and talented and famous throughout my entire life. Her self-titled album was one of the first cassette tapes I ever experienced. “The Greatest Love of All” revealed my tendency to get goose bumps in response to idealistic song lyrics, no matter how saccharine. “The Bodyguard” was one of the first movie dates I went on.

I was thinking about Whitney. My seatmate was thinking about Whitney. Her phone partner was thinking about Whitney. We were all thinking about Whitney, on and off the train.


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