I have been surprisingly flattened by the news of Robin Williams' death. The particulars yes are horrible and dark but the mere fact of him not existing any longer is what caught me off guard. I did not revere him per se or track or follow him or hold him in some high celebrity esteem. But what I've learned in 24 hours or so after I discovered he died is that he occupied a bigger place than I knew. I ache with his passing and I cannot figure out why or better put, I cannot articulate why. There is something in here about a collective mourning, something about my (our) own mortality reflected back to me, something about my memory of seeing DPS at Perimeter Mall in Summer 89 - 25 yrs - with Carmen and Amy and Will (who was visiting from Charlotte) and me absolutely losing it in the "O Captain My Captain' scene, something about cinema when it functions as intended on a deeper, molecular plane where things - ideas, emotions, people - are fixed and inviolable like air, planets, stars, and lastly something about how all this - good, bad and in-between, has a shelf-life. Sixty-three eyeblinks. Not so different or far from my forty-two eyblinks. Not so far from the twenty-five eyeblinks ago where I am sitting in the dark in Atlanta with my friends, watching Robin W on screen. I don't know what it means or how to source this sadness. All I can say definitively is that I am unspeakably sad and that I and we are the poorer for his absence.