April Fools

Subject: Announcement. Date: Sun, 01 Apr 2007

To all my friends:

After a great deal of soul searching and inner torment, and with my half century mark looming, I thought it was time to come clean. I am coming out of the closet.

It is a fabulous feeling, being free. We will work out the details shortly. But I just wanted everyone to know the real me. This is who I am. A gay American. I hope the shock is not too much. I hope we will remain the dearest of friends.


Phillip (aka Brick)
April 1, 2007

Ha!  Didn’t know I still had that. Think my friend Danette had kept a copy. She sent it back to me. Blackmail purposes, probably. Anyway, it was the very last April Fools prank I ever pulled. The nuclear option. Most people believed it. Even my mother. I was floored how people automatically assumed that Brick, that big giant gnarly punk rock drumming jazz critic, was coming out of the closet. Apparently they had no problem believing it. They were surprised but supportive. I got beautiful, understanding emails. A lot of them. It was pretty funny. Hell, it was hysterical. I called my wife, giggling. As the afternoon wore on the responses grew longer and even more beautiful and supportive. I began to feel guilty about the time they grew to several hundred words. They kept coming. Dozens of them. I felt guiltier. Finally I received one that was almost literature. It was the sort of thing that should have been printed in a major national magazine it was so beautiful. It almost made me wish I really had come out of the closet. I realized I’d better put an end to this before my feelings of guilt turned to self-loathing. So I thanked everyone for their kind words and then said, uh, April Fools. You’d be amazed how fast love and understanding turns to anger and resentment.

Of course, there was that response from a close friend. It wasn’t long and supportive and beautiful. Just the opposite. In fact it was only three words: I knew it, she said. She knew it? She never explained how she knew it. I wondered what I had done but was afraid to ask. I still wonder. She never did say April Fools.