Archive | August, 2014

Robin Williams 1951 -2014

Robin WilliamsThis is the role that comes to mind these past two days. Patch Adams, the clown physician, Dean of the Gesundheit Clinic.

Why couldn’t he reach this guy Sunday, when he needed him most? Did he think the physician was just another routine, some character he’d invented and assumed, just another carnival false front? I’m sure, the Patch Adams I know was a lot more real to me than to Mr Williams. But there was another Patch, the one Williams knew, who he made the Patch I knew out of, and that one was absolutely real. Why couldn’t he reach him? Was he Out? Motherfucker. Those bastards are always Out when you need them.

Much as you think it might have been, or even as it might have appeared, it wasn’t time to go.

What could Robin Williams have been thinking? Did he see himself surrounded by unfulfillable demands? Inexpressable loves, unutterable poems can appear sometimes as a pack of starving wolves. I, who have never been agile enough to climb a tree, appreciate the hopelessness of such an array.

Hanging yourself is more complicated than hanging someone else. Not quite as complex as televising yourself, but with many of the same difficulties, lots of preparation involving stringing lines, making platforms, staging and performing all on your own. It’s a very schizophrenic activity, requiring you to constantly take a detatched view of the tasks you are, at the same time, doing. The preparation takes a lot of energy and time, usually leaving ample time to talk yourself out of it. Energy well spent, if it leads to abandoning the effort.

Now that it’s too late, I’d give most of my left side to be able to sit down and talk with you. I have a million questions …

Did you really become close with Jonathan Winters? Did you really get down with him? I ask, because Jonathan Winters did not kill himself. He died at 87, last year, and performed in that year.

During his early thirties, Winters spent eight months in “a private institution”. Eight months. That’s a long time, time enough to feel like you’d never lived anywhere else. How long did you spend in rehab?

It says here. They didn’t have a diagnosis called “bipolar” at the time, though it says There that cases of “manic-depression” and “melancholia” are documented in the 2nd Century. Last month, you committed yourself to a rehab. I’m guessing, you were relying on your personal history of success and the feeling of safety you associated with the place, and hoped to gain your own balance in familiar, safe surroundings. This is far and away my preferred guess, over the one where you deliberately chose an ineffective route, to justify to yourself your eventual suicide.

I”m not down on suicide. My father decided when he would die, and I hope to do so myself. There’s no point to going beyond your …

I’m having trouble stating that limit. It’s there. I actually know it, but I can’t name it. In my mind, though, I thought I saw its form.

going beyond your humor If there’s no punchline, why continue the joke?

Is that what was bugging you, Bub? All you saw was a dry lake bed of whining, no thing that was funny?

Dying is easy. Comedy’s hard. Live it, or live with it.