My Captain

Too often and like too many others I have

suffered silently choked by your words your callous stares,
Your ‘cheer up cheer ups’ your verdicts of self indulgence
Your condemnations of angst
But no more, not for him,
For the man who made me laugh,
Made me smile,
I will not stay silent for Peter Pan.

Oh captain, my captain,
I’ll say it plainly.

Robin Williams fought every day and today he lost. There is no comfort for him, no afterlife, just robbed time, just broken hearts, today the devils win. The shadows that asphyxiated him, the black that paid no heed to success, fortune, or fame. The invisible illness, the change within his mind. They took my hero and strung a noose around his head, they dragged him, beaten and bloody to the stocks and placed the rope around his neck and gave him no chance to speak, no dignity, no solace, they only promised that life was worse than nothing, and nothing is what they offered.

So many of us will not look into that abyss, will not dare allow it to rise and up fill us, and chill us, and gape at our mortality, our fragile happiness, that is why you call us weak, self-indulgent, liars and losers because the alternative is horror. Yes I will bend and buckle and break, I will kneel my head, avert my eyes, hold my stuttering tongue, will allow the heat to suffuse my face and your words to echo on my bed, and the tears to leak from my face, I will let you tell me I am not enough, but I will not let you tell that

To him.

To Robin Williams.

My first Peter Pan, you cocked that mobile phone before I knew what lawyers were. Stood bewildered among children, you were like the adults who crushed me till, you flew, you fucking CROWED, saw bright balls of goo where no food was threw it around never in my life have I seen a meal that looked as tasty as that.

You remembered how to fly again, bangarang my friend. The pan arises, the hook sinks. I saw hook at least ten times and love it still.

So you look Peter Pan in the eye and tell him he isn’t ill.

I never had a friend like him. Never had anyone who could be there all the time, who could take it. Who could stay the night, it was too much, day after day when I didn’t recover, hour after hour whilst I still cried. He never had a friend like me.

They taught him between jabs, between trips to the bar, between white lines and whilst he cried the demons taught him what matters, that people lie, that old men think they know what’s important, what life is made of; money, exams, rules and regulations, what to wear and say and do and when lest you become different. Robin took all that darkness and within it he found hope. Maybe he couldn’t be happy himself but he’d be damned if he did not try to make you laugh instead.

So when Robin whispered the dead men’s words and said, Carpe Diem, he knew you had to seize the day because those days when you can, they won’t come all that often, and when they do when you beat back those snarling fucking demons you gotta leap up, gotta make them all laugh, and all those lines you wrote in tears you’ll unleash them on the rest. The despair in their eyes inside their heads, the depressed we can see them, can smell the enemy on you, and Robin fought like Peter Pan, his sword, his sword was laughter, he was a knight, a bright white ball of happiness man that man burned away your misery because he knew, he knew, how bad those days could get.

Oh captain, my captain,

Carpe diem.

I will not say rest In peace because you did not die at peace, you were killed, you were murdered and me and mine will not rest either. Will not pretend we did not lose a brother in arms, a friend, will not bow our heads in shame, will raise our fists, not our glasses, will do the best we can; we’ll make ’em laugh, we’ll make ’em sing, we’ll dance our dances, write our plays, we’ll swing with the best of them, we’ll take it on the chin and get back up, one more time, one more time, again and again Robin. I promise you I’ll write a bit harder, I’ll try a bit harder, I’ll get up one more time more because I cannot let the demons know they’ve won. They don’t get to win, not anymore.

Carpe Diem.

The father on screen. You made Will Hunting love. Made him feel human, because despair and loneliness can make one kind, makes one brave, makes one bold enough to stand and speak and laugh and joke because those that live in darkness, know the value of the light and the secret to create it. You said it’s not your fault till I believed because it isn’t our faults dear friends. We lost one of the best today. So I will not say:

Raise a glass,
Rest in peace,
I will not claim
It is now easy,
Bow your heads,
Mourn and walk away.

No.

That is not our way. It never has been. We do not move on. We do not forget. And maybe we will never be whole, never be healed, never know peace and too many of us will die too early in this war we fight, we fight every day so to all the ignorant, selfish rest, to all the others too afraid to face someone else’s suffering, that do not accept what this is like, that do not know how daily despair tastes, to them I say laugh on, laugh on, laugh at our jokes that is what we do, but to you my brothers and sisters, captains and comrades, you know who you are, you that forget you are legion, today or tomorrow or right now you are surrounded but to you I say in my hero’s name:

Fight on, fight on, fight a  bit harder for him.

The demons do not get to win.

Show them what we are made of. Put on your red noses. Throw on the clown shoes. Hell forged, battle born, our smiles are scimitars, our bright eyes shields. Sing your soul out. Cut out pieces of you. Fling your pain upon the canvas, take the shadows and make balloon animals out of them. Dance to wake the light, burn brighter, to make up for the star we’ve lost today. Fight on, fight on, for the fallen, the fallen, for our

Captain, our captain,

Carpe Diem

Do not let him die in vain.

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Flash Fiction: Lost Pens

“Demons aren’t real.” he told his nephew, Tim. “They are just made up, like on the T.V. Someone made the whole story up.” This is what he gets for playing video games whilst Tim has unlimited access to late night T.V. “Look, someone made up the story- it’s not true. Like how I make up my drawings. You know, like Bravewing or Spiderman.

Tim said: “You said you SAW Spiderman.”

This is what he gets.

Tim continued: “And nobody in the movie believed the boy there either. THEY all said it was all made up.”

There are two entities, somewhere in space and time, watching this moment in the video game playing artist’s head, and laughing. The first one is large and powerful and can exist in many places at once. “That was funny little one. Eerie even. But still it is a minor inconvenience, the function you perform.” The smaller of the two laughs, looks at the larger entity and says:

“It must be nice being created by people’s doubts in their own abilities. Such a common, wide-ranging, hell- you could even say ‘universal’ insecurity- and that was a pun.”

“Hah. A pun. yes. I am what I am, and I do what I do, which makes these mortals…do not. Get it? They don’t because I am!” The larger one continued to laugh. The smaller one would have rolled his eyes if he had any.

“Yes you truly are one of the most terrible. But let me show you something.” The smaller so-called immortal brought their view to a series of comic books, paintings, sketches and illustrations. “Bravewing was only the first hero he would have given birth to.”

“Would have?”

“Indeed. These works are only potentials and were part of the previous time stream till I- humble and limited as I am- did MY work.”

And he showed the larger demon of self-doubt his collection- millions of pencils, paintbrushes, and pens.

The little one said: “You might be the demon of self-doubt, but I, limited as I am, can still cause physical rents in their universe, can still take their pens and brushes- they fear me, they fear that their stationary disappears into a black hole! It’s brilliant; do you have any idea how few of us can actually affect the physical world? But because they think it all disappears there is no evidence left that I broke any of their laws! Nothing at all.”

“Yes, very nice little one. But the non-physical world can be very important to sentients, as you can see.”

“Yeah phenomenal, you’re huge. But you know what, you know what I’ve prevented from ever happening?”

And he showed the larger another series of creations that would not be- books on shelves in libraries that never were, music unrecorded- forgotten as musicians searched for their instruments, passing moments not captured by cameras. The larger one regarded his smaller companion: “How?”

“The trick is to be precise. To choose your targets well- the ones who are right on the cusp, right on the edge- the ones who give up after a few minutes of not finding the pen and go back to playing video games. All it takes is a few more minutes and its over. Their will dies, and so does their work, and sometimes if you’re lucky…their ideas too.”

***

I wrote this after losing yet another pen, just as I had to write something down. It seems to happen with alarming frequency- and I suspect I’m not the only one. Placing pens and pencils all over my home and person sometimes helps but once and awhile that little bastard somehow finds a way to disappear those too.