When I was young I remember curling up to my mother in her bed while she turned on the tv. Every night at the same time Mork and Mindy would come on at Nick at Night. I was always excited when it came on and made a special note to myself to stay awake for it. And I’d watched rapt in the story, the action and of course the incredible energy output by Mork himself, AKA Robin Williams.
Later my grandfather who started to take me to the movies once a month took me to see a movie that soon became my own cult classic ultimate favorite movie, Mrs. Doubtfire. When it came out on video I asked my parents to please buy the video for me, and luckily for me they agreed. I am not sure what about that movie inspired my crazy obsession, but I soon watched it daily for I don’t know how many days after. And then after some time I revealed to my mom one night that I think I had my very first crush and that it was on Robin Williams. My mother found that very entertaining at the time, and asked me in amusement what about him that I liked. But at 8 I didn’t know, just that I loved his movies.
Later on that obsession did cool, though I have always enjoyed watching his movies.
In the last year I had not seen anything by him or thought about him in quite a while. And though I hadn’t ever really had a dream of him or even thought about his movies in a very long time, even years, a few months ago I had a dream about him that I would like to share.
I will skip to the relevant parts, but I ended up in his house. His mother or some older lady was there as sort of like a keeper of the house who kept an eye on him as well. In the dream he did not let anyone else near him though. He didn’t really want me there either, but the older lady let me sit down and talk to her and she made me a cup of tea as she told me how he’d cut himself off from everyone at this point. Eventually she invited me to tour deeper into the house. I could hear him grumble about her invitation from the other room but she insisted so we did.
He’d preoccupied himself with something else while I was there though. But we went into his bedroom and there was an exercise machine, that seemed like one of those step machines. Which seemed like climbing and ambition, maybe his ambitions. There was a humble looking bed. Just a mattress on the floor with a ruffled white sheet on it. The overall look of his bed felt grounded and simple. The house itself seemed simple and without the frills expected from a famous person. But there was a large book shelf filled with a great selection of excellent fiction. he’d come out of hiding to explain the special meaning of some of the books.
He also pointed out and showed me a work desk with papers where he had been working on an autobiography, which his eyes seemed full of excitement for. But the excitement faded and turned to a sad look when it became clear to both of us that he had run into a dry spell and lost his zeal to finish it. I knew he’d never complete it. To me given the knowledge of his death, I am wondering if a part of mind grasped his dying. The symbol of not completing an autobiography and linking to death seems all too clear.
Next to the bed was a stain on the carpet which said so much in so little, as dream symbols do. It indicated times he’d been in his bed woken up throwing up, probably from alcohol poisoning and the tremendous struggle that he was still fighting with and was just under the surface of everything else. Overall the house had a feeling of desolation. That he was in trouble. But that he wouldn’t get help, or maybe couldn’t. He led me out of the house, as he said he cared very much about his privacy and he wanted me to go.
So I did. I wanted to somehow reach out to him and help him. But knew since he was a famous person and I was not, there was no way to do such a thing. So I left the house.
And when I woke I just had this strong sense he was in trouble and sad. So I decided to look him up. I followed him on Twitter and also watched an interview of him. On twitter, seems like his involvement had hugely declined. And so I got little from that. And I watched a recent interview and of course he was always on, always in performance mode. I wondered if that is how all his interviews go, but didn’t have the time to shuffle through them. Perhaps if he wasn’t the clarity of his sadness would ring too loud. Or maybe it was a defense.
I followed him on twitter in case there ever was a chance to say something, to help him and to root for him.
Today all morning I had a complete lack of energy for writing and did not write. And I think I spent much of the morning in a lazy haze where I am not sure what I did. Then followed by the afternoon where I had had a spark of inspiration and a rash of words spread upon my notepad that seemed just right. When I stopped to take a break I signed onto Twitter and saw a message about Robin Williams and didn’t at first realize it was because he died. Then another message and then another. And I noticed someone saying how he ‘was’ so great. Then it started to click and I looked it up on Bing and there it was as a headline, Robin Williams has died.
I felt very sad. And shocked. Seemed out of the blue, unexpected. And just like the world sincerely did get emptier. To know that I will never see another new movie coming out with one of his smiling antics. It is hard for me to grasp.
Anyway, anyone who reads this, thanks for taking the time to read my experience. The one thing that gives me a lot of joy is to see just how many people out there who truly appreciated his work and that he has truly brought joy to so many people.
I never realized I could be sad and mourn someone who I never even knew.