Thursday, March 19, 2009
A Mysterious Tale of Two Lovers
About a year ago, I was reading the Los Angeles Times and I stumbled across an article that has held my interest since. Many of you may know about the mysterious suicides of Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake, and if you do, it's likely that it perplexed and saddened you.
Suicide is a subject that shakes humans to the core because it signifies the failure of the human race. We talk of a "will to live," but what happens when that dissolves in a person? It's really scary to me.
I had planned on writing my own article on these two fallen artists, but instead I find myself emoting onto my computer screen. I want to tell their story, from the little speculation I can speculate upon, but it's very sad. Maybe I shouldn't be listening to Bonnie "Prince" Billy right now...
I'll summarize Theresa and Jeremy's story the best I can.
Theresa Duncan was a small-town girl turned political pop-culture feminist. It's rumored she met Jeremy Blake at a Fugazi concert. She was 7 years older than him, and they fell deeply in love. Jeremy Blake was an artist who, most notably, did the artwork for the cover of Beck's album "Sea-Change" and the psychadelic effects in "Punch-Drunk Love." I really love his art.
As the two rose together through the ranks of the high art world, Theresa was repeatedly let down with the rising and falling of a film project she desperately wanted to conceive of: a film about two prep school girls that kidnap a rock star.
Jeremy Blake, from what I can surmise, felt her disappointment even more thoroughly than Theresa. The two just seemed that entwined with one another.
After Jeremy did the cover for Beck, they said that they were going to help Beck leave the Church of Scientology. Then the pair began to tell friends that The Church was trying to sabotage and threaten their careers...and lives. Eventually, their behavior became so paranoid that they made their friends sign loyalty oaths and cut ties with friends they had known for years.
Then they moved to nyc from venice, ca. Those who knew them say that the two held bohemian dinner parties with good whisky, intelligent and witty conversation, and that things seemed to be normal again. But once in a while, their paranoia would become invigorated and friends would receive long emails detailing the events that caused so much suspicion in the two.
Then one day, Jeremy Blake came home and found Theresa Duncan dead on their bed, her hand up to her slightly smiling face. Next to her, a glass of champagne and bottles of Tylenol pm and Benadryl.
A week later, a woman saw a man walk into the ocean and disappear. Police found Jeremy's clothes on the sand, with a note written on the back of a business card:
"I am going to be with my lovely Theresa."