Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 12

Today's happiness -- Like minded people.  Tonight my classic film group met and more than 20 of us watched Alfred Hitchcock's Suspicion together. It was the first time many had seen this classic and it was neat to see their reaction.

More than that, I like how movies bring me together with people I wouldn't otherwise even meet. Tonight I sat with Bella, a girl young enough to be my daughter -- a budding workaholic who wanted to spend time with people who won't want to talk shop. Afterward, I got a ride to the train from Martha, the bus driving Buddhist. What do the three of us have in common? A crush on Cary Grant!

Someone I didn't know at all died yesterday

I wasn't a Robin Williams fan, especially. I liked him as Mork and loved Moscow on the Hudson and Good Will Hunting. But he worked a lot and consequently made a lot of drek. He also was such a scenery chewer that he frequently threw the balance of a piece off with his "look-at-me, look-at-me" improvising.

So why did I feel so awful yesterday when I heard he took his own life?

Because there was a naked vulnerability to him that I responded to. He was going to make us laugh, or cry, or at the very least pay attention, even if it depleted him. He put it all out there. Like Judy Garland or Janis Joplin. He was like those ladies in ways my antenna picked up and I just naturally felt something for him.

I also appreciated his willingness to playing against type. He played a psycho on an oft-repeated episode of Law & Order: SVU -- which was so poorly written it proves my point about his appearing in a lot of crap -- and hauntingly good as the villain in Insomnia and the desperately lonely clerk in One Hour Photo.

I hate suicide. I am sorry for the assistant who found him, sorry for his wife who has to decide whether to stay in the house where it happened, sorry for the children who now must cope with an inescapable patina of guilt on top of the pain that comes with losing a parent. Most of all I am sorry for the man who felt so smothered by circumstances that he couldn't see any point in waiting for another sunrise.

Rest in peace, Robin Williams.