When I heard about Robin Williams' passing today it took me back to 1982. I was walking in an underground parking garage in Japantown in San Francisco when I heard someone deep inside the garage shout out, "Hey lady!" I turned to see a man in a sombrero flagging me down. So naturally, as one would do in a dark, shadowy parking garage, I waited for him, thinking, "This guy seems like fun." It was Robin Williams, beaming, grinning ear-to-ear. A ball of energy. We walked together through Japantown and he had me in stitches the entire time. I tried to talk him into going with me to the Depeche Mode concert at the Kabuki Theater but he had an appointment for massage where women would be "walking all over my back."
I can't help think when these sensitive souls pass -- like Robin Williams, and Heath Ledger, and Mitch Hedburg, and Philip Seymour Hoffman -- "If they were my friend I wouldn't have let them slip away. I would've tried to make life liveable for them." I know it's not that simple. I wish it were.