Tuesday, August 12, 2014

O Captain! My Captain!

I never knew Robin Williams.  Never met.  Never spoke.  Never crossed paths.  Sadly, I never even saw him in concert or in a comedy club (unless you count all those HBO specials and hundreds of talk show comedy bits).  But this one hurts, the same way it hurts when you lose a friend.
If there was one person who lived life on the edge and made that okay – someone whose acceptable insanity stretched the limits and boundaries, and by doing so made you believe it was okay to be different, it was Robin Williams.

Sometimes as a kid (and as a teenager, and even as an adult), life didn’t work out the way it was planned.  It was overwhelming and it hurt.  Laughter was an escape.  Laughter provided comfort.  Laughter allowed you to take a deep breath, take a step back, then take that step forward.  Laughter made it better.  Comedians like George Carlin, Sam Kinison, Redd Foxx, Chris Rush, and Robin Williams were my gods.  They pushed the limits and changed my perspective.  They allowed a kid from a fucked up family with a world of hidden insecurities and pain, learn how to laugh and find humor in life (especially at the things that sometimes kicked my ass).  It hurts that those monsters inside many of us – the fears, insecurities, and things that go bump in the night – got the best of him.  It hurts that he lost the ability to find the laughter in life, especially when Robin Williams created so much of it for others.
I will remember Robin Williams – not for the way he chose to end his life, but for the way he made me laugh, and the way he helped me live.