Rest in peace.
Mork and Mindy reruns in my pjs with my mom. Mrs. Doubtfire, which made me laugh, but also gave me such strange feelings about my parents’ divorce. Aladdin, one of the first movies I remember seeing. Hook, which is a great movie and if you don’t like it I question your ability to feel joy.
Good Morning Vietnam, which I was definitely too young to watch. Jumanji, age 8, with my dad, in the second-run theater in our town in Massachusetts, and then again, age 24, with my little brother, who was seeing it for the first time. Fern Gully! Motherfucking Fern Gully, man, shown to me by my libdem parents and responsible for turning me into a tiny hippie. The Birdcage - oh, The Birdcage - one of my top ten favorite movies of all time.
Walking out of the theater after seeing Insomnia with my dad, listening to the group of middle-aged people in front of us laughing maniacally and repeating the phrase “Skippy’s only got one eye!” which is a phrase I love but do not, to this day, even pretend to understand. Freshman year of college in my cinderblock dorm room, with alishalevin, listening to Live On Broadway over and over and over and clutching our sides when we were out of breath from laughing. Matt talking me down from a panic attack over the phone while I was on the downtown M15 by repeating “It’s naht yah fault” over and over.
Even the terrible movies - AI and Bicentennial Man and Flubber and What Dreams May Come and Patch Adams and Death to Smoochy - god, I saw them all. Sometimes you don’t realize what a constant companion someone you’ve never met has become until they’re gone.
Depression is a motherfucker. Everyone is talking about it tonight and I hope it leads to a better, more open, more tolerant conversation about mental illness. There are times, even now, even in my neurotic, open-minded, New York, therapy-embracing social circle, that I feel like I’ll be judged if I talk about my own situation. But I’ve found that once you mention therapy or antidepressants or panic attacks in passing to the people close to you, these soft little moth-like empathy antennae go up, and gently, slowly, you find each other, and you find a safe place to talk about it, and you recognize the people you can call on the bad days - hey, you’ve been there too. I’m not going to call any of you out by name here, but you all know who you are.
That first step is the hardest fucking thing, though. The hardest fucking thing. Days and weeks of existing in a fog before I could make that phone call. Identify the person your depression-brain tells you will hate you the least for reaching out to them [they won’t hate you, not even a little, or be disappointed or put out or inconvenienced - they will love you all the more for asking for help when you need it - but your brain will tell you otherwise]. If you need it to be me, I am always here. If you need it to be a stranger, there are so many people who will help you. Just. Make the first step. I promise it’s worth it.