BRINDISI, Italy — Waiting in an air terminal parlor in this southern Italian city early Tuesday, a TV abruptly emitted to manic existence with pictures of Robin Williams.
Dwindle Pan in Hook. The teacher in Good Will Hunting. The radio player in Good Morning, Vietnam.
I dreaded and got the most exceedingly bad: “Performer discovered dead in his California home.” It was an unpleasant approach to be transported again to Marin County. Anyway my indented state was immediately floated by memories of our lunch.
It wasn’t arranged. A couple of months back, I’d sauntered down to a most loved skillet Asian eatery in the place where I grew up of Mill Valley, a couple of miles from Tiburon, where Williams kicked the bucket Monday.
In the wake of requesting, I detected a table outside in the sun. Without taking a gander at the stocky man in sunglasses, I inquired as to whether it was OK to impart the table. “Go right ahead,” said Williams in his incomprehensibly delicate taking a break voice. I tried my hardest not to do a twofold take.
Resolved to play it cool, I said nothing for in regards to five minutes. Our suppers arrived. We consumed in sunny hush. At that point a lady carefully approached the on-screen character and said, “I’m sad to trouble you, however Fisher King changed my life.”
“That is exceptionally decent of you,” said Williams, just about humiliated. The lady withdrew.
I held up a beat, then said what I felt: “It must be eminent to realize that work you have done can influence individuals that way.”
His reactions could have included quiet, “Better believe it” or an eye-move before quickly completing his noodles and bouncing once more to the unacknowledged wellbeing of his Land Rover. Rather, he said, “It’s genuinely an astonishing thing.” And our lunch started.
Throughout the following half hour, we were only two fellows talking. I said that we both had Italian street bicycles made by the same zone shop, Above Category. A long-lasting and enthusiastic bike rider and gatherer, Williams was an enormous enthusiast of the wonderful steel-surrounded Pegoretti cycles that started in northern Italy.
“They’re similar to riding a steed, so responsive, so smooth,” he said.
I then said that I had as of late been to Rome and had seen the initiation of another pope. Williams upshifted into full execution mode.
“Ok yes, the Argentine pope,” he said, those well known eyebrows angling underhandedly. “Presently, you see I’m holding up for the first Brazilian pope. He ought to promptly get himself some samba-moving nuns. Perhaps some short skirts.”
Williams put down his fork, and began to shimmy to a samba beat in his seat. “I can see it now. They’d sing, ‘Return to the congregation, individuals, return to the congregation, better believe it!’ ”
By then, nourishment was undermining to fly out of my mouth. Williams’ moment transformation from calm tablemate to uproarious funnyman was something I had seen numerous years prior, while questioning him at the Cannes Film Festival.
Four correspondents. One Williams. No giggles, simply an uncomfortable quiet until somebody in our gathering specified how a companion was excited about playing chess on the web.
At that point a fountain of liquid magma ejected – Williams riffing interminably as both the chess player and the voice of the irritated workstation: “Is that the best you got. Puh-leeze, I should unplug myself.” I’m not certain we even gotten some information about his motion picture.
Our unrehearsed supper proceeded in this vein. I had expected a delectable lunch, yet not one supplemented by diversion from one of the best entertainers ever.
To watch virtuoso unfold in such lacking elbow room was magnificent in the most genuine feeling of the abused word: The velocity of his brain, the freshness and silliness of his affiliations.
I flashed over to the first run through Williams entered my and a large portion of the world’s awareness, as a visitor star on the Ron Howard-secured ’70s sitcom, Happy Days. He was somebody called Mork from Ork. It was obvious the hyperkinetic character wasn’t the one and only not of this world.
And after that Williams was done. He took a taste from his water glass, put his napkin on his clean plate and got up.
“Hey, a debt of gratitude is in order regarding the decent lunch,” he said.
Not this time, Robin. From the boot heel of Italy to the crown of Everest, the world much appreciated