"Why does love hurt so bad?" Song for River Phoenix, written c. 1986, rerecorded 2010 Contributed by Anisa Cameron
When I was nine years old, I was desperately in love with River Phoenix. I was completely obsessed, and you must understand that crushing obsessions were much more difficult in the days just before the Internet. One who was besotted couldn’t just google the object of their adoration and be immersed in an ocean of images, videos, blog posts and the like. No, you had to subscribe to teen magazines such as Bop! and Tiger Beat! and gaze forever at the 2 or 3 images they would have of your dreamboat.
Well, it just so happens that I was an avid subscriber to Bop! magazine and they had a page of addresses in the middle of the issues where you could send fan mail to the stars. Yes, like, mail, mail. You had to write with pen and paper all of your deepest desires and fondest wishes to these heartthrobs. I imagined some kind of round table where these letters to River Phoenix would be opened, perhaps by paid employees or girls just as infatuated as I was, who had on t-shirts and buttons and left their greasy Lip Smacker kisses on the glossy and torn pages of Bop! magazine.