Josh told me about Robin Williams while I was in the middle of cooking dinner.
I spent most of the time that I was stirring the sauce thinking about his children.
Then I thought about the Mork suspenders I wore in elementary school, and how I got bullied for wearing them, not least of which because Mork was a boy and I was a girl. I remember letting them dangle off my shoulders, like Marty McFly, and wondering if that made it any better. (Side note: it didn’t.)
And then I thought about the summer I saw Dead Poets Society six times in the theater. Back then, a movie came out and you watched it more than once if you really liked it because (1) it would be more than a year before it was released on tape, and (2) the chances of your parents buying you the tape to own was slim-to-none.
I was a volunteer at a hospital that summer, changing linens and making beds, and when I had free time, I would go and sit in people’s rooms and play cards with them. I mostly picked elderly women, but there was one guy whose room I went to often who was 26, so we had conversations beyond, “do you have a beau?” He had been in the hospital for weeks, so he hadn’t seen Dead Poets Society, and I got to tell him the whole plotline since he would miss the theatrical run and have to wait a year to see the movie.
He thought it was ridiculous that I kept going back to see the same film instead of seeing a new film, but I argued that I was seeing it with different people and therefore it felt like a different film each time.
And finally I just told him the truth: the movie made me feel good. For two hours, despite the sad ending, I felt really happy visiting those characters. They made me so happy that I bought the novelization of the movie from B. Dalton’s in the mall, even though novelizations of movies were always crap.
There are so many times in life when you feel awful; if you can grab two hours and feel really happy, shouldn’t you grab it as many times as you can?