Well, it has been three months, but recovery is taking long for me. I'd like to thank everyone who has sent their kind words and prayers.
A world without Robin Williams is one I never wanted to live in. And yet here I am still. I'm not sure why, really. Okay, there are still a few of his movies that will be coming out (Merry Friggin' Christmas is one, which came out last Friday in limited release... so limited that it's not even playing in SAN FRANCISCO
). But apart from that, there is a big hole in my heart, and a hole in humanity which can never be filled. The world feels colder, and not just in a literal sense. 2014 was already showing the worst of our species around the world, but now a huge beacon of light has been blotted out for good.
And with all the other goings-on this year, we need someone to make us laugh. To put the bigots, war-mongers, fear-mongers, and hypocrites in their place. Okay, sure, we have The Daily Show and The Colbert Report (but now for much longer) and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, but their style is different. Their takes on current events are funny, but often end with a cynical sense of hopelessness. Robin's routines left people smiling, and maybe even hopeful. Especially for those who knew he was a good person. Empathetic, charitable, loving... a reminder that perhaps there are others out there like that. But now those reminders are hard to find, especially in the world of 24 hour news, and their insistence on "If it bleeds, it leads".
Remembering Robin Williams has brought out the best in most of us… but also the worst in the worst of us. People with not one iota of compassion or sympathy have run their mouths off; from the unsurprising like Rush Limbaugh and The Westburo Baptist Church, to the unexpected like Henry Rollins and Morrissey (I'm still not sure if I should delete his songs from my iTunes. I got them off CDs from the library, so either way at least I didn't spend my damn money on that asshole).
But back to the best of us, seeing all the love on twitter has given me some iota of comfort. Everyone from his closest friends, to his one-time co-stars, to young actors of my generation and after who grew up watching him (including the whole cast of Victorious
), and even those who have made fun of him (even Seth MacFarlane, which proves maybe he does have a soul after all... or at least a good sense of PR).
Robin to me was my hero. My idol. He was the reason I tried to be a stand-up comedian. The reason I came out of a horrid nervous breakdown. Someone I hoped to someday really get to talk to, to give me advice on how to really make it into the business, and pour my heart out to about my life... I guess it's good I didn't do that last one. His greatest acting role was definitely one of someone who didn't have the same problems I do. That pain, that feeling of helplessness, hopelessness. He put out an air of being just like his role in Good Will Hunting. And he was someone who cared, who listened... but we know now he wasn't rubber when it came to sadness, that is to say it didn't just bounce off him. But man, did he put up a good act on that. I remember the last time I talked to him, I asked if it bothered him when TV shows made fun of him, and he said "Well, it's out there, so..." meaning that when you're famous, you have to deal with this sort of thing. It was inspiring at the time. There he was, being mocked by sketch comedy and adult cartoons and the internet, but to him it was just like water off a duck's back. But with the knowledge of his struggle with clinical depression, it was probably more like pins in a pincushion. And boy, do I know what that's like. Am I mad at him for putting out that image instead of owing up to his real feelings? No. It helped me. He knew what people needed to hear. He had good advice, good philosophies. But with depression, it's hard to follow your own positive advice. Believe me, I know.
In hindsight, maybe I should have seen the warning signs. I remember one of the first times I saw him perform live (it may have been the first), it war right after his divorce, and he did one of his self-deprecating bits. One woman shouted "I LOVE YOU, ROBIN!". I of course shouted louder "I LOVE YOU, ROBIN!". He just looked down and said sadly "You have no idea".
Back then it got a laugh, but maybe we should have seen a red flag. But how could we? It was the "sad clown" routine to us. Then he went back to just being Robin. Once again, his skills as a comedian and an actor kept us happy.
He was just the sweetest man in person. All the times I went to meet him, I always worried. "Is this right? Will he be happy to see me? Will he call security? Run away? Maybe I really am the creeper they say I am.". But every time, he always said "Hello, dear" (Really!
), and I would always apologize for any faux pas I may have made last time. He always said "No worries". More playing the role of positive philosopher. But once again, it helped me.
I am now 27 years old. The same age as he was when he got his big break as Mork. I always said to myself that if I wasn't famous at the same age he was, I'd either seek out his advice or give up. But now I can't seek out his advice. I have no idol to turn to.
It should be no surprise to you that I don't want fame anymore now. I want peace and quiet. Hence why I have been quiet. Lord knows I have a lot of not-so-pleasant memories of the reactions to my more esoteric works. By the way, those of you out there on those Deviantart mockery sites expecting me a draw a weeping Meg Griffin by an hastily-drawn, undetailed gravesite: sorry, you're not getting that out of me. Even I have enough sense not to do that. (Although that is an idea for a memorial picture when Adam West leaves us. At least that has a connection.) I'm still not sure I'm even going to do a drawn tribute. There are so many already by much more talented people, and meanwhile I have been homing my drawing skills, it's more for my own style that to draw something like, say, The Genie or Fender or Batty Koda (I mention them because my concept is something like the famous Mel Blanc "Speechless" memorial… I bet that's been done already anyway). However, I do have a few photographs of Robin and I together that I never posted here for an assortment of reasons… but now I think I will, and I shall tell the story of those last meetings under them.
For the longest time I felt alone as a Robin Williams fan. Even when evidence pointed to the contrary; all the wonderful comments on my videos, all my faves, the friends I made… and yet it was the hurtful comments that stuck with me. Because that's what depression is, basically. And now I realize I'm not alone… I just wish it didn't have to happen like this.
RIP, Robin Williams. (I wish I had never, ever have had to type that. Ever.)