I guess that it’s time to mention my secret life as a personal friend with a number of celebrities.

The most famous, of course, are Obama, Michelle, Ellen Degeneres, Jim Carrey, and Roger Federer.

I’m not really that close with Michelle, but she does fly in now and then for these special pilates sessions with my wife, and Roger likes to hit on Dorian’s red clay before the French, and he inevitably stays with Lane Hawley, who invites me for lunch, just because he thinks I’m funny, I guess, and we can talk tennis for hours!

I keep teasing him that Nadal is my favorite, and Lane gives me that stern look, but he just laughs and laughs.

Obama is a philosopher, but we don’t talk shop – he’s helping me recapture my jumpshot, and I’m working with him on his serve. He’s getting better! It’s just that tennis is a new sport for him, but he is a natural athlete and I think he could join our saturday doubles soon.

Another thing we share is a love for Jack Reacher and British nautical novels, so we talk about that. And we are in total agreement that Tom Cruise (omg!) is too tiny to play Reacher!

We are seeing the Obamas more these days, which is great because watching Game of Thrones together on Facetime while he was in office wasn’t as much fun as these recent PBS shows of Victoria, with both of them here in person.

They really are a couple of romantics, and so this Victoria show is right on theme!

You’d think that hanging out with Jim Carrey would be non-stop laughter with two class clowns like us in the room, but the thing is, no one wants to be “on” all the time, and with Jim neither of us has anything to prove, and I think he appreciates just being able to just talk and do lunch more than anything.

Most comics are really brilliant and complex, and sometimes what you see in public is a sort of projection that gets laughs, but offstage they long for authenticity and to be taken seriously.

So we don’t really joke around – he likes to show me his latest artwork, and I send him a poem now and then. But when we get together we mostly discuss cool New Yorker articles that we’ve recently read. He’s a deep guy.

Ellen is a special case, however, since we DO make each other laugh, and she is an old buddy of my wife, and sometimes calls her to discuss personal stuff, but with me and Ellen she’s just so huggable, and we all spent some time doing contact improv some time back, so we think nothing of cuddling up with her and Portia like a bunch of puppies and watching exotic foreign films on Netflix.

You are probably wondering how I met all these people, how I’ve kept it a secret, and what, just what intrigues these celebrities enough to hang out with a couple of unknowns in Iowa?

First of all Risë really is something exceptional when it comes to pilates, and then you know when you work on people’s bodies they inevitably look to you for advice in other areas. (So we get a lot of phone calls, too).

Secondly it’s the very fact of our obscurity and anonymity that got this whole thing started (a story for another day) but once we met our first celebrity that party had so much fun hanging out with completely normal, somewhat interesting but non-famous people that they told their friends and it just snowballed until we became sort of a set of pet “normals” for these celebrities to call on when they want to touch base with everyday life.

The only thing is that we have to keep the whole thing secret, or else we too will become famous, and the whole arrangement will come tumbling down.

So, my point is, don’t tell anybody, or else all this is toast.

I just thought I’d let you know, one to one.

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