A Friend of Bill

In Chicago, I was driven around by the same guy who drove me around for "Virtually Normal." His name is Bill Young, a real mid-westerner, and an all-round great guy. He has shepherded them all in his time - from Marilyn Quayle to Al Gore. But he means a lot to me. Eleven years ago, he picked me up in Milwaukee, when I resumed my book tour after a five day break in the first week when one of my dearest friends died suddenly of AIDS. He was 31. I tell the story in "Love Undetectable". I was beyond numb.

Bill knew the deal, and basically nursed me through the first few days of media blitz. His Midwestern gentleness and humor put me back on my feet. It was a strange shock to see his name again on the schedule; and a huge pleasure to be with him for a few hours. We swapped jokes, caught up on each others' lives, and had a ridiculously huge meal at one of the biggest Mickey Ds I've ever seen. I had a super-sized Big Mac, fries, regular coke and a chocolate milk shake. He had a McFlurry. Screw it.

Anyway, he has a saying. It's worth passing on:

"Strive for excellence. Ignore success."

Words to live by. I love the Midwest.