Thursday, August 21, 2014

Robin Williams

Just before I turned 15, I ended up touring Western Canada. My mom and dad had divorced not 3 months prior, and - given that I and my siblings were moving to England to live - Pops wanted us to see THIS beautiful country before seeing THAT beautiful country.  We land in Calgary, and of course rent a car. With a tape deck (it was '98).

Honestly, the tape could have been in the car right from the outset. I vaguely recall some sort of cassette display in a random general store, but that might have been coincidence. Regardless, we must have listened to Robin Williams' "Live at the Met" 20 times over those two weeks.

Mrs Doubtfire was one of those rare movies that the entire family went to the theatre to see. Dad was usually the movie parent, so seeing my mom in the cinema at the same time was reason for this strong memory. Like the stand up, many of the jokes were designed for a slightly older demographic but it made me rediscover them later in life. Incidentally, one of the few (possibly only) times my mom exclusively took us to a movie was another Robin Williams vehicle: Hook. 

I won't claim that Williams "got me through" my parents divorce, but his material seems ingrained in my early adolescence. I remember being blown away by his totally insane train of thought, his ability to bounce around and leapfrog from one topic to the next, all in that machine-gun style delivery. 

Of course this isn't the only tribute to his death you'll see out the on the Interwebz, but it's mine. I won't pretend I suffer from depression, but times can get tough for everyone.  It may seem like telling someone you want to kill yourself is totally self-centred, but, just like Mr. Williams, people have no idea what you're going through because the mask of normality is so strongly glued on. Plus, the de facto reply to "How are you?" has become "fine", even when everything isn't.  

For a far better explanation of a subject I can't hope to accurately cover, we go to the oft-underrated that put out a somber piece showing why funny people feel the need to be funny all the time.   Not every funny person is battling with demons, but be conscious that some of them are. 

Anyone who reads this, I consider you a friend, and friends look out for each other. If you ever email me or get me on FB, with a problem about not coping, I promise you I will listen. The Whistler Community Services Society has a 24 hour phone number if I'm not around (I'm not downloading the new messenger, and am debating deleting Facebook on my phone) which is 604-902-0670.  For those far abroad, make the effort to look around for an outlet. Sometimes a stranger is easier to open up to. 

Dammit. Why does someone have to die to make me write on here? Sorry for such a downer of a post. Here's to the funniest man to make my whole family laugh.

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