1. I’m researching something from, oh, 1982ish.
2. The name Laura Branigan appears randomly in an old article.
4. Then, naturally, I go here.
5. I am, of course, compelled to enter the website, where I see words that will forever doom me: LETTERS FROM LAURA. Knowing Laura died long ago, I feel obligated to see what she wrote.
6. The letters are painfully uninteresting, but I’m an absolute sucker for REMEMBERING LAURA (and REMEMBER SHANNON HOON. And REMEMBERING MIKE DARR. And REMEMBERING JOE KENNEDY. Really, remembering anyone who’s not so well remembered. So here I am—remembering Laura Branigan and the three songs I know. Interestingly, there’s apparently an annual Laura Brannigan memorial event held on Long Island, which is cool (though I’ll unlikely attend).
7. I digress. This is when the bad stuff starts happening. First, I watch the memorial video …
8. Then, I find the inevitable Where Are They Now clip from the 2000s—including an older, heavier, worn-down Laura Branigan playing before a couple of hundred people at a state fair. This makes me quite sad.
9. I begin thinking about Branigan’s biggest hit, Gloria. Which, back in 1982, was pretty inescapable. So I play it. And play it again. And play it again. I become obsessed with moment 1:21, when he voice goes all gravely. I can hear some stupid American Idol judge saying, “Baby, you need to control your vocals.” But he’d be wrong—it’s the best friggin’ part of the song, because it makes Laura Branigan human. But he wouldn’t understand, would he? Dammit! Because he’s just some pop tart motherfucker, and Laura was better than that. Yes, she was. She really was. She was Laura Branigan, and nobody understands her like I do. And we could have been married. Really, we could have. But … but … but …
9.5. Doctors enter the room and sedate me.
10. I download Gloria on iTunes and annoy the living fuck out of my kids, who say, “Dad, please stop playing this awful song.”
11. Just when I’m about to lose my mind figuring out the true meaning of “Gloria,” (Is she insane? A whore? A woman whose life has spiraled out of control?), I go to Laura Branigan’s Find a Grave page, which is completely unsatisfying. She was cremated, her ashes spread somewhere.
12. I buy another coffee drink.