I think everyone has spoken about Robin Williams sometime in these last days. My friend first mentioned it to me on our way to work. We are neither of us devotees of Hollywood gossip, but the thing about Robin Williams is that he wasn’t just Hollywood. Nothing has shown that more clearly than the reaction to his death.
When you are growing up, your world increases with you. Nothing disappears: everything grows. Things develop and change, but only as you expect them to. If you are lucky, and no disaster tears a premature hole in your world, you slide into adulthood without any cracks in it.
My friend is 21. I’m 19. Parts of our childhood are disappearing now. Grandparents, early pets, first houses, the voices and faces of the films we grew up with. These are absences. We’re not used to them.
Inevitable as it is, it makes us feel old. Say what you like about the self-documenting generation: the first realisation that something lives only in your memory surely comes as a surprise to everyone.