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August 20, 2014

A Conversation with Robin Williams

Tom McLaughlin

Well, Robin, you finally did it. Ended what everybody thought was a perfect life. Lots of great movies, a stand-up comic and an Academy Award. Most of us are very sad, Robin. Very sad.


A belt, Robin? Gosh, it would have been better if you had checked out by jumping off a bridge or something. What a horrible way to go. But at that time and place, I guess it was the easiest and quickest.


They said you were terribly depressed. I know something about that. You think a bad thought of something you did in the past and feel very guilty about it. And then you feel more and more guilty. It's like a bad hangover that just won't quit. You try to find a way to "right the unrightable wrong" as the song goes. But you stay there getting worse and worse.


And you had a lot to draw from. All that coke and alcohol. Lines and gallons of it fed to you by your "friends" who kept the party going and going. And you paid for in more ways than one. But it freed that brilliant mind of yours to star in such fantastic films as “Good Morning Vietnam,” “The Dead Poets Society,” “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “The Birdcage.” All four were your best work. Sorry better scripts didn't come your way later in life – when you were sober.


I did try to help you, though. I thought my book "Borneo Tom" would be a good vehicle for an older actor trying to find his way. A big blow out so to speak. A grand finale where you could retire and live in peace. I mailed you a copy from the States and put my Malaysia address as return. It came back unopened. I guess you have your underlings checking your mail. You should have opened that one. I know you would have liked it.


Speaking of sober, 20 years of sobriety? And you fell out of the wagon? Hell, I have 23. No, I know it's not easy. Yes, it's always still there. It's like an elephant in the room. But how could you give up after 20 years of being sober and let yourself fall back, way back, into that dark abyss? But you never could pull yourself out of that area where the demons and the headless horseman grab you and hold you down. And I see they never let you back up.


And what was that television show you did? It was awful and you looked terrible. And I knew that you knew it was terrible. It flopped and was cancelled after one season. To be fair, I only saw two episodes when I returned to the States. But still, we all awaited the ending when you did your stand up.


Well, Robin, it's been real. Your breasts on fire in the “Mrs. Doubtfire” has to be the most hilarious scene of all time. The stand up comedy on HBO was unreal. I will watch your movies over and over again.


Me? I will take my anti-depressant pill, try to make another year of sobriety, play with my son Dzul and love my wife. Whatever comes along after that is a bonus.


Thanks, again.


...Life is good. . . . .


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