O Captain! My Captain!
Yesterday... oh man. I can hardly tolerate the lump in my throat long enough to commence jotting down these words. Yesterday, the world lost a legend. A man whose quick wit and graceful punch lines twisted the guts of endless people. He made us laugh till we cried, helped us fight dark times with real, and raw comedy. Sometimes satirical, sometimes just by saying things everyone thinks but never has the gall to expel from their minds. With a resume as long as any other, he leaves this world too soon. Winners, losers, awards, and a mass of memories. I can, and will be the umpteenth person to exclaim that the genius that was Robin Williams holds a dear place in my heart. One of the first films I ever loved, and my guided introduction into poetry was Dead Poets Society. He showed vulnerability, elegance, charm, wit, and sophisticated wisdom. That expression of pure heart towards a medium of art helped turned me onto words. It may have been a script, but he was the deliverer of those truths. Part of me belongs in the roots of that performance. I owe him that much. At the very least.
What does it mean to me to lose that kind of entertainer? Well, as far as my life goes ... it does very little. That's the truth. He did not keep me alive. He did not pay my rent. He did not spoon feed me until my pungent rounded figure was satiated to suffice capacity. And I've noticed a lot of selfish orientation in the outpour of heartache divulged on the internet. What it does affect in my life is all hopes to enjoy him in new, and future works. I don't envy the life of a professional entertainer, as all of the world relies on their craft. In one form or another. That's a lot of pressure. Not everyone spends time with the dentist. Not everyone relies on a nurse. Not everyone struggles alongside a teacher. But everyone, absolutely all forms of human soul, desire entertainment. Poor, rich, hungry, or homeless, all want it. Whether it be ingested during leisurely down time. Or to escape a life over poverty, and ruthlessness. To endure all of the sadistic left hooks that life can throw at you, you need a moment away from it all. To which I could never endure a life so vampiric.
Tell Me a Joke Funny Man
While I cannot speak for the deceased, I can propose the idea that maybe, just maybe, I have seen a thing or two that may be relatable. I'm a funny person. Or at least I like to believe so. I've gotten many hours of enjoyment at the expense of my public image. Always the first willing to throw myself into the crosshairs of scrutiny in order to take a hearty swing at the opportunity for comedic relief. Which is why I am at fault for the worst component to being "funny". Everyone expects it. Everyone wants it. If they hang around you, and you're not funny ... woah boy. Hold on to your tits, because someone will most likely accuse you of being "off" or insinuate that you must not be well. In a small fraction, you lose the right (according to others) to put forth a sensation of any other emotion short of hilarity. It's why I left my improv group, and it's why I am firm on keeping that funny bone to my closest circles. Those outside of it, get everything but.
Words and Idea Can Change the World
... until that world becomes a prison. I have avoided any of the details in the case regarding any suspicions when it comes to the passing of Mr. Williams. But it was made clear in the announcements of his departure that he took his own life. So the term depression got thrown around a lot. Much to my chagrin as very few people that I've ever met can actually understand the meaning of the life sentence that a masochistic brain can torture you with. But they sure claim to know. And without the facts, it's a lot of posturing and debauchery of character. This spreads like a disease throughout the fallacy that is publication in the world today.
The last time I saw a "professional" with a nice fancy piece of paper that told the world he'd spent a large amount of money to go to school in order to hear someone grey-haired preach about an outdated way of thinking -- Church for the incompetent and feeble minded -- the cheap suited doctor proclaimed that I should begin a journey down the highway of medication to ease a part of my brain that was trying to keep the goodness in me locked up and hidden. But thanks to years-ago me, I fight the urge to pill myself into the mould of what I am supposed to be as an adult. And a working, slightly successful, and decent one at that. This is mostly due to my lack of self control in days past.
It is vivid, the memory of darkened street edges, swirling around in my head but under my feet on my path towards an everyday lounge with Toronto's who's-who of degenerates, club owners, drug dealers, and non-friends. Late nights of unconscious douchebagery spreading from this block to that one. Everyday another battle with the sheets in a mission to impersonate a functioning high schooler, before sidestepping class times for a less sanctified romp in what ignorant me thought was fun and holier than thou. I was angry at myself, hated those around me, fumed at the predetermined lineage of my life, and often boiled at the thought of authority. Living inside my skin was hell, and each moment that flew by was just another fraction of time that fueled the desire to compose painful songs on my being. I didn't cut long. I quickly learned the obvious; it's not easy to hide. No matter how much I loathed my own day-to-day, I always had a stream of needing to fit-in. So I began to use my cigarettes (I was an early bloomer in the habit). I would smoke two packs a day. Putting each delicious tube-shaped collection of herbs and toxins out on my wrist. The same spot. Everyday. Never allowing enough time in between for the sort of healing that would perhaps have aided in the chance to not have to look at the scar every morning today.
Today's me is different. But I'm still of the same mind. I retreat back to my own camp filled with moments I've lived, and treat them like prisoners of war. The war to achieve happiness and greatness in one fell swoop. I'm still inconsistent in my own self image. I am still a frequenter of the horrid thoughts that plagued my better intentions while I resided on the other side of the country. Just this last weekend I had the disrespectful thought I deserved to be punished for what I was doing. And what was I doing? Succeeding like I never have before. I'm a half-dozen chapters into my latest novel, and I feared that the rest of my life was frozen in time during the process and concentration. Therefor, I was a horrible friend, a terrible partner, a rancid employee, and a shining example of a poor socialite. That's just the way a soiled mind works. We all lose, and gain a lot in life, but those who are swallowed of tortured by the unhealthy friend that is depression immediately leaps to self inflicted wounding to level out the senses. Too happy? Here's a nightmare. Too successful? Here's a chainsaw for that tree of hope. Unfortunately for the same people, the pendulum never swings the other way. Your best friend hasn't called you in a week? Well, that's probably because you're a fucking asshole.
I feel for Mr. Williams. Plainly on the ranking that I've, at times, felt that his actions would be the right way out for me as well. In some rarer cases, I've even made dire full-bodied swings at those softly thrown cork spheres. Whether out of sheer dread of living, or stupidity and ignorance. It has happened, will happen again, and I pray that the joys of my life once again get the better of those atrocious waves of sin. I feel for his family. As I now know as an adult what it means to be surrounded by love and attention to wellbeing. And I feel for him again. Imagining a hero to so many, sitting in a room, needing to check out, but without a phone to call the front desk. You are not selfish Mr. Williams. You were broken. Not like the gen pop. I am terribly saddened to see you go so young. I am extremely sorry that you felt there was no other option. But more than anything, I'm happy that whatever drove you to that address is now behind you.
For the rest of you, those still with us. You are not alone. Or at least, you don't have to be. Anyone of like minded nature will most likely be glad to share a few heartfelt conversations.
There is also a really great prevention organisation that will assist you in finding the right area of contact should you dip into those moments of fragility. If you are considering hurtful alternatives, please go to SUICIDE PREVENTION. It is no easy feat. But it's a defeatable enemy.