Some brief thoughts.
Not many celebrities deaths cause me to sit down and contemplate everything. I normally stop for a moment, say something thoughtful and move on. Since I don’t know them personally, it’s as if they just retired from public life and stopped making public appearances. Even though I didn’t know Robin Williams personally, this is different and I’ll explain why.
When I about 10 years old, I got a small 25 inch fat CRT television in my room and I rewired the boombox to act as a makeshift surround sound system. I had a futon, lava lamp, man I had a sick bachelor pad for an 10 year old. I wasn’t allowed cable, but I had a VCR with a gigantic closet full of VHS tapes that my family collected over the years. One thing that we had an abundance of was Robin Williams movies, Hook, Popeye, Flubber, Good Morning Vietnam, Aladdin, Jack, What Dreams May Come, and those are just the ones I remember.
I watched those movies so many times, I eventually had the habit of turning on a movie late at night and falling asleep to it. As I look back and remember some of my favorite RW movies I realize that those movies and his personality probably influenced mine, influenced my sense of humor. I then remember times I found myself in situations with friends where I acted somewhat similarly to him. So I have to admit, Robin Williams probably has his signature on a few ribbons of my personality even though him and I never met.
I’ve always wanted to be the funniest person in the room, like Robin was, so as a kid I looked up to him and in a way wanted to be like him. I often tried imitations and still do voices to this day. As kids we often have that figurehead in our minds of someone we want to be like. We keep our eye on them, following their career, watch all their movies, almost subconsciously studying their character. Like a hunter following deer tracks, that suddenly end with nothing in sight. It’s an unusual feeling to see that person is now gone, as if you’re thrown out into the wilderness on your own with what feels like a half finished identity.