I think Robin Williams’s passing is the first celebrity passing that has effected me profoundly. For some reason, it feels like family has passed- my brother or uncle. It’s true- anytime I saw him on a late-night talk show, I would cringe. He just seemed like he had a spout that he would open and it would all just come pouring out. I would cringe because I feel like that sometimes- my spout opens and four hours later I’m horrified at the things I let out of my mouth, what others might think of me! It’s never that bad, but I worry, nonetheless. I would worry that he was the same as me and would have regret and anxiety, while also admiring his willingness to be so raw in public. Robin Williams came to me as Mork, but earned a place in my heart with Dead Poets Society. Through the vehicle of that movie, he made education seem more valuable than the diploma or job at the end, and that little, knowing smile he used so well drove the point home. He was just good. As a person too. I’m sure you’ve heard the comic book shop tales of how he connected with anyone. He was a good man.
Then, today, we heard that Chris Walla is leaving Death Cab for Cutie. Chris is a good man, too, for many years he was my husband’s BFF, he Dj’d our wedding… And he’s an amazing artist. The things he does not only as a musician, but as a producer in his own band on his own records are just incredible, and I feel so selfishly sad that he needs to be done with Death Cab. On the way home from Idaho last week, we put Death Cab in, looked at one another and started singing along. You know the kind of singing I mean- the kind like you’re alone in the shower? That kind. Loud! With soul. It was fresh again and we got all excited about seeing them the next time they played. I love DCFC and it suddenly feels like one of our children suddenly grew up and moved out, that end of an era kind of feeling and our heads are spinning like we missed it all, somehow. We got busy having babies and building houses and didn’t pay close enough attention as his star rose.
In both cases, it was inevitable. Robin Williams couldn’t live forever, and I would hope that all the DCFC members would retire eventually. I just wasn’t ready. I wanted one more really good Robin Williams movie like Fisher King or The World According to Garp, I wanted another small theater opportunity to see Death Cab for Cutie. I’ll take solace in the fact that our friend is healthy, he is intending to enjoy his life now, and there is the very comforting thought that there another album coming soon. I’ll just have to continue to miss Robin Williams, as silly as it seems. We watched Jumanji the other night and said goodbye to him that way. I’ll admit to many shed tears during our viewing.
On the plus side? I got into my classroom today- a full two weeks before I thought I’d be able to! Woohoo! While I didn’t get very many of those boxes behind me unpacked, I did create a mental map and started sorting things out. I’m pleased to report that it is going faster than I expected. Phew!