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Stashed Away Secrets

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Tim Kreider shares a deeply personal story about a friend whose life was full of fuzzy facts. Tim's friend Skelly was a private guy, and his friends didn't push him on the details of his personal life -- even when they discovered the little lies he told to impress them. They all felt they knew the real him, and could see through the stuff he made up to dodge embarrassing realities. But when Skelly died unexpectedly, they came face to face with the fact that, despite how close they were, Skelly was living a life they never could have imagined. Which was the real Skelly? The self he shared with Tim? Or the private self he kept hidden from the world?

Also check out:

Tim Kreider's We Learn Nothing

Comments [5]

Happydeb from San Diego

I loved this story, sitting in my car to hear the end of it. When I heard the part about the bamboo "sproing" of launching snow from the tops I was delighted. I met the teller of this story at some time. When I told him I was a botanist/biologist or perhaps said something about bamboo, it reminded him of this amazing experience and he asked me if I had ever experienced bamboo covered with snow. I said, "no' and he told me this wonderful story which was even richer and more real to me in that telling than it was when I heard it on Radio Lab. Thank you for sharing this story with a broader audience. I'd love to hear from you again to recall how we met.

Aug. 08 2013 04:19 PM
melkat

This story reminded me of the famous documentary "Grey Gardens", and the amazing degradation of the home and lives of its once-wealthy inhabitants. It also brought to mind two or three men I dated briefly in my youth who, I soon deduced, wove tissues of lies. Even at 19, I quickly realized the duplicity did not spring primarily from callousness, but something much deeper and sadder.

Aug. 07 2013 03:11 PM
MARGY HERLEY

When Tim Kreider said that there were things in his friend's house that he would never tell anyone, my (somewhat wacky) imagination went wild. Piles of what? Piles of feces? Piles of dead cats (or dead dogs, dead rats or partially eaten dead hobos?) It was a very intriguing story. It is a very sad story and I don't mean to demean it or you.

Aug. 03 2013 04:33 PM
Aaron

The title of this report should be "alcoholics killing each other"
nothing else!

Aug. 03 2013 01:08 PM
Michelle from Seattle

I wept as I listened to the end of the "Secret Skelly" story. It was so moving and beautiful. I believe Tim did know the "real" Skelly. We all hide parts of ourselves from other people. We all have secrets we are afraid to share. The part we share is as real as the part we don't. Skelly knew something was wrong; he didn't know how to fix it or how to get help to do that. But he shared as much of himself as he could. Tim's description of the day with the snow-bent bamboo (I believe) was wonderful. How could you get any closer to someone than that? I'm so glad that Skelly had the friends he did and that they cared enough not to challenge him about his stories. It's as if even then they knew that his stories were not as important as the person they were close to. Thank you for this wonderful gift of a story.

Aug. 03 2013 12:10 AM

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