Let's sit together on the burnt-orange, mohair couch in our favorite bustling coffee shop, Central Perk. Let's raise a mug of piping hot coffee to our friend and comedic legend, Miss Chanandler Bong, I mean...Matthew Perry. What a gift he had and what a wonderful legacy he has left behind.
My oldest sister is fifteen years older than me. Both my parents worked when I was an elementary student in the 90's and I often would go to my sister's house after school. Countless days of my childhood, even though I was probably too young to watch Friends, or at least too young to understand, were filled with the song "I'll be there for you." I watched these friends dance around and in a running fountain. I always thought they looked like they were having so much fun.
Of course the comedic timing of Chandler Bing was side splitting and he quickly became my favorite on the show. The speech patterns and sarcasm delivered flawlessly by Matthew have left indelible traces on my own. Often while watching Friends it dawns on me that as a young blossoming youth I grabbed onto something he said and made it part of my own language and humor. I wonder how many other personalities were shaped by his influence.
As an adult I was left broken when my mother died in 2017. I came to realize the path before me was a dark and twisted one and I wanted to turn around. I went through a few dark T.V shows before that, Sneaky Pete and Daria, in an effort to find catharsis, but the negativity had obviously hindered, not helped. So, I watched Friends instead and spent my evenings laughing because of Matthew Perry. Even though it was small, it was one way I changed my mindset at a difficult time and eventually made it back to a path of light.
Of course we know him best from playing Chandler, but he also had several other projects. Some were incredibly successful and some didn't go past the first season. My favorite of all them besides Friends, was a short lived dramady called "Go On," in which Matthew plays a widower who starts seeing his dead wife. The story follows his journey with his grief support group while he continues to hallucinate about his wife's presence. Man I wish they'd continued that. It opened my eyes to the world of grief and therapy while still making me laugh. It was both informative and amusing. That show was pure gold.
I haven't read his memoir yet, but I intend to. I'm immensely proud of him for looking his demons in the eye and calling them out by name. I love that he dragged them out onto the red carpet, for the world to see and declared that they were there. It takes guts to be raw and honest.
As a writer who is writing a memoir about raw and honest things, I look at his example and know that I can do the same. I haven't read it, but the way it has been received by the world sends a message to people who hurt, like me, that it is a time in which we can lay our demons on the carpet and let people see them. I know from Matthew's example that honesty and perseverance are welcome and rewarded in this world.
I'm saddened by his death, truly the world has lost something special. And as the world waits to hear from authorities regarding a cause of death, I, like millions, am hoping it wasn't at the hands of his demons. Even if it was, the life he lived, the impact he had on so many won't ever be erased.
It is for all of these reasons, and for so many other lives I know he has touched, that I raise a mug, to Matthew Perry, comedic genius, companion in the darkness, Friend.
Could he BE more of a legend?
About the Creator
My life is a little crazy. Four kids, homeschool, hotel clerk, write, create and coffee. Coffee is a verb. Do you coffee? I aspire to blow glass and finish / publish my novel. I would like to have an impact. Also, coffee.
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