I had my first day of work at my new job today. Actually it was more of a half day, but considering that I woke up early, showered, and managed to look like a reasonable person before catching the bus and not throwing up the entire way there, I’d say I did okay for myself. Also, my desk overlooks Elliott Bay and is equidistant from Pier 70 (where the Real World Seattle house was located) and the Edgewater Hotel (WAY MORE BADASS because of Led Zeppelin and the groupie who fucked a shark). Also also, my new company is casual. And I mean really casual. One of the other new hires showed up in shitty jeans and a Sub Pop t-shirt. Another woman wore a long t-shirt like a dress, and the back was completely open to her tramp stamp-area, which means that when I was not being scandalized, I got jealous of her very cute bra. Which I could plainly see.
I wanted to write more about my first day, but then I got home and sorted out the Internet and learned that Robin Williams had died, and I was very shocked and felt profoundly sad.
Robin Williams was definitely one of the team. While I was primarily raised on the comedy of George Carlin, Richard Pryor and Steve Martin and knew Williams mostly as a comedic actor (it took years before I saw one of his actual comedy specials and was hideously entertained at his impression of someone eating ‘70s pussy, which he mimed by putting his face into the crook of his very hairy arm), I was still aware that this guy in these movies was a fucking lunatic, and that being a fucking lunatic was a good thing.
Even a kid could watch Robin Williams’s movies and understand that he was really going for it. You could tell that he was manic and loony and so crazily, relentlessly funny. And there was an integrity in that, because even when he branched out into drama and people complained because he wasn’t being funny anymore, the thing was, he was still being funny, he just understood that the jokes had to be delivered in a different way. I defy anyone to watch “Good Will Hunting” and not be heartbroken about Sean’s wife or the oppressive emptiness of his tiny apartment. I dare you to not adore his reenactment of game six of the 1975 World Series, or smile at his dry ad-libbed last words in the film, “He stole my line.” As much as I hate “Dead Poets Society” (get off that fucking desk, you idiot, and quit making mediocre teachers think that’s all it takes), I have to give the man credit for hanging in there and doing that, and translating some passion for performing into what was otherwise a dreary wank session for dudes who like lecturing women about Whitman.
But anyway. What a loss. What a hole in the world. If I believed in things like Heaven, I assume I’d also believe in the bullshit rules about how suicides aren’t allowed, so of course I’d Ouija board the shit out of the powers that be to lobby on behalf of Robin Williams. The guy deserves to get in.