1. Tuesday, January 4, 2005

    Hi Tony, 

    I wrote about this in my blog this weekend, but I thought it was interesting

    enough to email you about.

    My friend, Susannah, is putting together an art book about secrets and she

    needs contributions. Surely, amidst all your travels, you must have a secret

    or two that needs unburdening….

    Fidel

    ++++++++

    Dear Fidel,

    the great thing about having a blog with a disclaimer like “nothing in here is true” is you can tell your secrets while hiding in plain sight.

    no im not 111 years old (older), yes i work at the xbi.

    yes i ride the bus to work, no im not as dashing in person as i appear in those photographs on fleshbot.

    i will however tell you something entirely truthful that you may not know. im totally sentimental.

    for example, i have been out of high school for some time now. i have moved from illinois to la to santa barbara back to la to frisco and then back to la and the whole time i took all of my high school yearbooks with me.

    and then today, out of the blue, i get a cd in the mail.

    i put it in my boombox but it wouldnt play, so i put it in the computer and it turned out it was a dvd!

    and there on this very same computer monitor that i now type to you, i saw my high school years slo motion in front of me.

    like most people, my high school years were incredibly awkward. i had zits, i was the only one of 4-5 black kids in the school, i was in marching band, but somehow i was reasonably popular. i was even the mc for the talent show.

    but still, i have been back to illinois since high school a total of maybe five times total and im telling you, i graduated a loooooooooooooong time ago.

    and ive never been to a reunion.

    but after they showed a bunch of slideshows of pictures from the high school days – during which i automatically yelled out the names of people like OMG FRANK PASTORIO! and other random names that have never been forced to recall for ages, they all came flooding back to me.

    and then i saw a picture of a girl who kissed me on the cheek once at the roller rink and i nearly fell over

    chris resko.

    and she looked awesome.

    as did so many people.

    and this fucking dvd went on for an hour. and i kept yelling out names and pointing at the screen and squinting at the nametags on pictures from reunions and i was all holy shit i Never met her or

    holy fuck ROBBIE ROBINSON!

    and the crazy thing is i never cry. maybe thats a secret. but i dont. the xbi rips that right outta you. but i had already cried once tonight before i even got to my mail.

    and there i was with led zeppelin playing and then weezer and then the police

    and i looked at the envelope and there was no return address and i looked back inside the cd case and there were no notes or leaflets. nothing.

    but then at the verrry end there was a picture of the football hero and i believe a cheerleader – either a cheerleader or a pom pom girl – and she has his last name and it was they who put it together.

    and man am i grateful.

    in the hour of slide show pictures and film reels of the football team and the lancettes i appeared twice, my friend. yes.

    i wont say our school was rich, but it certainly wasnt poor. so somehow even though we were in the suburbs of illinios, we had a ski club.

    now there werent really any mountains anywhere near us. but there was michigan and michigan had these cliffs. so youd take your winter finals and there would be a bus waiting for you outside of school and youd get on the bus minutes after your test and theyd drive the ski club to michigan and we’d stay overnight(!) a few days in fucking michigan where the bus would drop you off and youd ski down the cliff and the lift would bring you back up top.

    so one of the pics was of me on the ski club bus with my tongue sticking out cuz i cant believe how awesome it is that im going to michigan with tons of hot girls and close friends.

    and the other picture was on graduation day with one of my best friends julie van who i loved very deeply all through school who i believe is married to a steer rancher or the governor or someone.

    and one day later i would be in LA.

    and when i left illinois i never really looked back.

    until tonight

    as nelly played and then ac/dc

    tom waits

    and rush.

    and if they can sucker monica troesken to go to our next one, i’ll be there.

    cuz finally i look half as good as those motherfuckers.

    rick abbott + zulieka + splinky