Monday, August 18, 2014

Robin Williams: Froze in Time

We tend to remember the where and when ...

When John Lennon died, I myself was in the death throes of childhood ... Lying awake, trying to sleep at my appointed bed time of 10:30pm (just upped from 10, to kick off my new teenage maturity!), I overheard Howard Cosell on Monday Night Football saying, "Remember this is just a ... game, no matter who wins or loses" ... which I thought, at the time, was odd for Howard.

And then:  "John Lennon ... in New York City ... shot twice in the back".

... I was having a bed-in when John Lennon died.

A couple of months later, when Ronald Reagan was shot, I remember being asked by an 8th grade classmate, this albino Finnish kid who used to say I "walked with a stick up my ass", if I'd heard the news.  We'd just come out of a dust-up several days prior, complete with punches thrown and headlocks, so I was surprised when he asked me -- passing each other in front of our school en route to classes in different buildings -- if I'd heard, and my opinion.

As he and his clique sauntered past, not really waiting for a response from me, but pleased with the knowledge that they'd told me the news and not vice versa ... I felt strangely appreciative.  First of all, not to be in a headlock that day.  Mainly, though, because he did ask my opinion ... a thing, at the time, I was unused to giving.  I felt proud, in a way, sort of smug ... vaguely validated.  I walked into class with that stick up my ass ... A national tragedy making me smile.

No inappropriate warm, fuzzy feelings, though, greeted the news about Robin Williams.

When my brother sent me an SMS, I was thinking about Robin.  His name had been "trending" all day online, but I hadn't bothered to click and see why ... Still, it made me conscious of the guy again, and I was thinking about bits from Reality... What a Concept when my brother texted.

"Robin williams dead of suicide. :-/ "

Those terse five words (plus the emoji), transmitted electronically, stopped me cold.  Literally froze me in place, staring down at my phone ... waiting for the timed follow-up:  the ;-) or the :-) or the "JK, bitch!"

None of which followed.  My bro wasn't joking.  Robin Williams killed himself.

Being "hip to", as I was, the comedian Robin -- and far less into Mrs. Doubtfire, or any of the treacly, scripted and comparatively muted screen incarnations (even Mork and the Genie paled, I thought, in comparison to Robin Williams live on stage, when he wasn't trying to pander to ratings or box office) -- "knowing" and preferring that younger version, there was no way suicide would've crossed that mind!

Literally frozen ... still disbelieving ...

Keeping things hidden, at bay, so well then ...

Robin Williams photo on Jeff Glovsky (Words By)
Robin Williams 1951 - 1979 (2014)

Losing me, and himself, as our lives / work wore on.

May Robin Williams Rest in Peace. 

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Genie is not "free"
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"If you're that depressed, reach out to someone." - Robin Williams
(as Lance Clayton, World's Greatest Dad)