If the comments to online articles about Greggo's recent parting with John Clay Wolfe are any indication, our sympathy reserves are pretty much exhausted. Mine too. But, as his wife says about Willy Loman in "Death of a Salesman": He's not the finest character that ever lived. But he's a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. . . . . Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person.
As I reread Richie Whitt's report on his recent conversation with Greggo, a disturbing vision emerged: Something bad is going to happen to Greg Williams, or to someone around him. Destitute; erratic behavior; possibly still using; self-deluded and deluded by others; subject to depression; prospects vanished; publicly humiliated as his private business is made public. And isolated. And a fondness for guns. And a brother who was a suicide. Go back and read the first few paragraphs of Whitt's article on the Greggo/Ticket divorce, "The Hard Lie." Things have only gotten worse for Greggo since then.
And yet, think: We have all been hugely entertained by this man, and for years. He got himself to work and put on a show for a long time. It is beyond any doubt that he has brought his present troubles on himself. But -- and I'm no expert on the ways of the mind -- in reading everything that has been written about this man it is all but impossible to escape the conclusion that his behavior has its footing in a clinical foundation that can be treated, if not altogether repaired. Yeah, I know, you have to let addicts hit bottom. I've had that experience with a loved one. Two, in fact. That strategy is fine right up to the time he doesn't get up.
Unlikely that Greggo tunes in to this site. But I'd feel pretty lousy if one of us many pundits, bloggers, posters, or commenters, now that we're done clucking our tongues, didn't say something.
Greggo, look around. Nothing you see, not one thing, not one person, including the one sitting in your chair, can help you. Not one thing you own beyond those four walls. That includes the telephone. Talking is nothing, it can't help you. Nothing and no one in your current experience can help you.
But there is help to be had.
Get up and get out of there.
Pack a bag, or don't. Drive yourself, by yourself, to any one of any one of dozens of organizations -- and you know some of them yourself -- who are waiting to help you. They will welcome you.
Your fans may be shaking their heads as they read about your recent reversals, but they are still fans, and they're legion. They may believe that you are the author of your own low state, but they don't like it that you're miserable and failed. Right now you're just a story to us, but if you get out there and where you need to be you can become a great story, one of the great second acts in DFW history.
That road trip will be a hard one, the goodbyes will be agonizing, and it will never, ever end as the demons keep your taillights in view.
But if you can stay awake and keep the car on the road as you do the difficult things you must do, there will come a day when you can pull into a parking lot, show some ID, walk down the hall, settle yourself into a comfortable swivel chair, and take a deep breath as you adjust the headphones and turn to speak into the microphone.
Just as you did for all those years.
Do it. Get up now. Do it.