CONVERSATIONS : DJ discusses privileged information.

One of the greatest gifts we can give each other in an age of

too much of almost everything

is time. Which is why I value some of the relationships I have that dispense with extraneous greetings or prologues on the phone.

I sat in a comfortable chair with my back to the corner and facing the door, like Wyatt Earp from the 1880s or any good law enforcement officer today, writing mindless yet necessary paperwork while listening to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. My phone rang.

I am going to refer to the following individual as


in order to preserve its identity. Also, I will refer to this person as "it" in order to further mask the identity.

This is the conversation:

Hey DJ,
I prologued.
Sorry it took me three rings to pick up.

What I'm about to say,
DJ cut me off.
Is privileged information. You can't tell anyone.

I said.
I won't tell anyone.

It's privileged.
it said.
You can't.

I know.
I said.
I will not tell anyone besides my children.

DJ said.
You definitely cannot tell them.

I said.
I will definitely try not to tell them.

it said firmly.
You cannot tell anyone. I am about to tell you privileged information.

I said.
I commit. I will tell no one. But I am going to write about it.

How is that protecting my privileged information?
DJ asked.
You can't write about it.

I'm going to.
I said patiently.
It's okay. I'm going to put it on my blog and hardly anyone reads it.

I bet more people,
it said,
read your blog than ___ my ____.

NOTE: I have redacted the above statement because it could and would unmask this individual's identity.

No, I said.
Most of the people who read my blog are in Europe, New York, or Sweden. Hardly anyone in America. So you don't have to worry too much about being unmasked when I write about what you're about to tell me. I'm super excited to write about this privileged information.

it said.
But you can't tell anyone.

I won't tell anyone without your okay,
I promised.
But I will definitely write about it.

The privileged information,
DJ said cautiously.
Is that I'm going rock climbing.

You're going rock climbing?
I exclaimed, mostly minus profanity.
That is so great. I wanna go rock climbing.

it said.
I've wanted to for a long time, but it's expensive and I wasn't sure about committing to it. But then an opportunity came up and I emailed someone and now I'm going. This afternoon.

I said.
That is so cool. Remember to wear a harness and use ropes.

I will.
DJ said.
And remember not to tell anyone. It's privileged information.

Out of curiosity,
I said.
I totally get it of course, but exactly why do you wish this to remain privileged information?

DJ carefully replied,
I don't want people thinking that the only thing I do in life is rock climb.

You're going for the first time this afternoon?
I asked.

it said.
I just don't want people getting the impression that it's my entire life and all I do is rock climb.

Totally get it, DJ.
I said.
That makes sense. Hey, I've got a good feeling you're gonna love it, and can we plan on heading out to the Gorge for some climbing after you've got some gym climbs under your belt and have sprung for a bunch of gear?

I'm buying gear?
it said.

I said.
You're gonna love it and probably get obsessed with it. So after you go today you can buy a bunch of gear and provide me the inexpensive alternative to getting back into climbing I've wanted since college.

You climbed in college, right?
DJ asked.

I took a deep sip of dark coffee as the house door opened and I waited a moment so I wouldn't inadvertently give away privileged information that wasn't mine to give away. Then I continued.

...I used to climb, but I prefer to climb with people who have all the gear and know how to use it. I've found it's the best way.

So you want me to buy the gear so you can start climbing again?
it asked carefully

I said.
That's about right. You're gonna love it.

I really don't want everyone thinking I spend all of my money and all of my time on rock climbing,
DJ said.

I thought carefully, and lowered my voice as an old guy in his 50s sat beside me.
That's a risk you'll have to take. It sounds like climbing is pretty important to you and that you're already having trouble focusing on other things. But I'm sure you'll continue to have other interests too.

I haven't even gone yet.
it said.
I might not like it.

Oh, you'll love it.
I assured.
It's gonna be your whole life after you go.

Can you not tell anyone?
DJ said anxiously.
I'd really like for you to treat this as privileged information.

I said.
This is between me and you and my northern European readers.

We moved on from that to discuss a wide variety of other topics, including which are the only two Radiohead albums appropriate for summer listening

(In Rainbows for June, A Moon Shaped Pool for August), my listening plan for November (a deep dive into Radiohead's Amnesiac), which of Radiohead's albums have the best titles overall (also Amnesiac), which artists are deserving of being mentioned in the same paragraph as Radiohead (Glass Animals, for one), how many years apart Kid A and Amnesiacwere (one year), and whether King of Limbs is worth repeated listenings (possibly).

Also, I strongly encouraged DJ to give Clap Your Hands Say Yeah a significant listen, beginning with a three-track playlist I will provide when it is ready, and it asked how I felt about Tame Impala's two new songs; a query for which I had no response.

Remember to use the ropes,
I reminded it in closing.
And remember that there's other things in life besides rock climbing.

DJ said.
Remember to not tell anyone. Privileged information.

Love you.
I said.

But it had hung up already.


photo cred : screen shot from FaceTiming with Jonny Long @Niagara Falls, April 2019