Sunday, April 22, 2007

Please Say That

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I don't believe that I possess an above average curiosity, but I would definitely characterize myself as being of above average laziness. As I've been lucky enough to live in the age of wikigoogleyoutubepedia, answers (of varying degrees of accuracy or relevance) are rarely more than a few seconds away. Bim bim sala bim, I've satisfied my need to know who the Finnish prime minister is; mekka lekka hi, here's a picture of a carny family and a baby wearing a toupee; jinks roshambo, I always suspected that there was some sort of convenient guide and here it is; etc, etc.

My morning routine (on days I don't teach, anyway) lately is to enjoy 20 oz of premium jav-aaah! while watching an episode or two of QI. I can't remember where or when I learned about this show, but you can watch all four seasons on youtube. Today, I happened to catch the panel talking about Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and Vincent Price (somewhere, Orlando has just rolled over in bed and yelled "Hammer Time!").

Anyway, wishing to learn more particulars about the gentlemanly Peter Cushing, I headed over to wikipedia, where I read the following (I've no idea if this is true or not, but it has the ring of truth to it; and it's quite beautiful so fuck off if you can't take the raw emotion):

In 1971, Cushing withdrew from the film Blood from the Mummy's Tomb when his wife died (Hammer stalwart Andrew Keir inherited the role). He and actress Helen Beck had been married since 1943. The following year, he was quoted in the Radio Times as saying "Since Helen passed on I can't find anything; the heart, quite simply, has gone out of everything. Time is interminable, the loneliness is almost unbearable and the only thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that my dear Helen and I will be united again some day. To join Helen is my only ambition. You have my permission to publish that... really, you know dear boy, it's all just killing time. Please say that."

Six years later, his feelings were unchanged: "When Helen passed on six years ago I lost the only joy in life that I ever wanted. She was my whole life and without her there is no meaning. I am simply killing time, so to speak, until that wonderful day when we are together again."

In his autobiography, he says he attempted suicide the night that Helen died, by running up and down stairs in the vain hope that it would induce a heart attack.

In 1986, Cushing appeared on the British TV show Jim'll Fix It. His "wish", "granted" by Jimmy Savile, was to have a strain of rose named after his late wife. Cushing's letter to the show, in copperplate handwriting, was shown, as was the identification and naming of a rose named "Helen Cushing."

I take pride in being a bitter old hag with the affect of a feral child, but I have to say: I honestly teared up that. And then later on in that same wiki, we get this from Christopher Lee, who was Cushing's best friend:

"I don't want to sound gloomy, but, at some point of your lives, every one of you will notice that you have in your life one person, one friend whom you love and care for very much. That person is so close to you that you are able to share some things only with him. For example, you can call that friend, and from the very first maniacal laugh or some other joke you will know who is at the other end of that line. We used to do that with him so often. And then when that person is gone, there will be nothing like that in your life ever again."

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