By Bill Murray
I like to think that I’ve lived two lives.
The first life was the dream of any comedic performer. I lucked into everything back then. Sure I had talent, but there’s always a little luck. I also fell into a very specific category of performer; men thought I was hilarious, women found me charming and even considered me something of a sex icon even thought I’ve never been a traditionally handsome man. What more could I want? Nothing. And that was the problem. A man that wants nothing is a dangerous man, both to those around him and to himself. A man that wants nothing can lose nothing. Or at least, he feels like he can’t. Not until it’s too late.
The Bill Murray of that first life would never hit a woman or just about anyone else for that matter, let alone the mother of his children. The Bill Murray of SNL, Stripes and Caddyshack would never sink so low. That was the second Bill Murray. That wasn’t the scrappy Bill Murray that moved to the big city to work his ass off making pizza pies to make just enough money to stay alive. That Bill Murray died the moment he decided to use violence to end an argument. Just one time was all it took. Because then it happened again. And again. I was already this person, I had already sacrificed my character. There was no going back to the person I was. To the man that starred in Groundhog Day.
I made a mistake that any single one of you could make. We’re all human. We’re all capable of flying off the handle and hurting someone before we take a moment to think about what we’re doing. Luckily the person we usually end up hurting most often is ourselves, but that isn’t always the case. Sometimes the best way to hurt someone that doesn’t feel anything is to hurt someone they care about.
We aren’t so different, not any of us. At least that’s what I tell myself while I’m filming whatever Wes Anderson is doing in his backyard. Half of the stuff you guys don’t even see. And if you think the shit he puts in the theater is weird, you should see some of this stuff. I’m not personally a fan of his work but I consider working for him my punishment for all the terrible things I’ve done. Just six more movies and I think I’ll finally be even. Should be able to knock those out in a couple months then it’s back to hating myself alone.
While not working, I spend a great deal of my time alone these days, as I don’t trust myself around people I care about. I’ve hurt them before and I don’t see anything stopping me from doing it again. Sometimes I think that we need people like me, people to keep us sharp. To take our innocence. After all, who could grow as a person without opposition? If we had no adversaries, we would all just sit around congratulating each other on sitting around. We need a force to rise up against. An invisible hand keeping us down. Every woman needs the father of her children who she devoted a great deal of love and time to beat the living shit out of her in front of her kids in her own living room on several occasions including once on her birthday and I gave that to her. I gave it to her at the expense of my character. Now I look like the bad guy and she looks like the hero, but whose the real hero here? Whose willing to face his demons head on, no matter how hideous or soul-shattering they appear to be? Whose willing to open their closet and deal with their skeletons, no matter how spooky they may be?
Who ain’t afraid of no ghosts?