Random Suffering

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So you had to know there would be days like this, when ten minutes would seem an interminable stretch between when and ‘Oh God o’clock.’ Here I am 5 hours out of Ottawa and still 90 minutes to London trying to hammer out a few thoughts between the last remnants of a wine buzz and the aching reality of jetlagged hangover.

So, please forgive the randomness of these thoughts but they are what they are and they are what you’re getting today. Hemingway always said to write drunk and edit sober but surely this wasn’t what he had in mind.

Still on Robin Williams. When offered the choice of movies you know I had to choose “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn,” his last film (not counting a small role in Night at The Museum 3 released later this year.) It was a perfect Williams’ role – perfect for the moment in time this is at least – filled with bathos and rage and humour and the quirky, ‘I’m on the edge of losing it right now’ that he was so good at delivering.

You have to wonder if he was making a prophecy when he made this film. He was so angry at the unfairness of life’s cruelty, so desperate to make that one last connection that might redeem it all. The central command of the film is ‘Be happy’ yet it is so obvious that happiness is the very hardest thing to grasp.

Isn’t that true though? Money, pleasure, self-importance, futility, laughter, tears – they are so readily in our grasp but happiness, even a few fucking minutes of it, can seem elusive. And I say that despite being a very happy man.

It wasn’t always that way – though it mostly was. I still remember the night, the darkest moment of my life, when I wanted to drive my car into the concrete abutment of an overpass. Me! The guy most people believe – who I believe! – is a jolly happy-go-lucky schmuck who has everything he wants in his hands.

And I do. Those moments of despair are so rare for me – not more than half a dozen in my nearly sixty years of life.

But strangely I cherish them. Just as I cherish those times when I was desperately poor. They remind me of the struggles that everyone faces. I hope they make me a better man.

Thank God, that’s ten minutes.

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