I was never much for following sports, but when I first moved to Miami my uncle told me a story about you. He and my aunt went to see a movie on opening night, they arrived late and had to sit apart, a nice young man who was sitting by himself noticed the situation and offered to move so they could sit together, that nice young man turned out to be you.(points) Shortly after you name kept coming up in the media for failing drug tests(points), and i also heard stories about the other players teasing you for your interest in things such as yoga and traveling.(points) Even though you were the leagues leading rusher, the media, your teammates, and jackoff radio hosts started turning against you for things that altogether made me start to like you. I was happy when you retired and went to study Ayurveda.(points points)

At some point around 2004 I was on tour in europe, I had a few days off in between shows which I used to travel back to Stockholm to see about a girl. She was the assistant to the promoter who organized a show for me the previous year. (One of the best shows I have ever played, it was Sole and I on the rooftop of the contemporary art museum at the center of the city, it was the night Ronald Reagan died, and our crowd was to march on the fascists the next day) So maybe it was just the magic of the night, but I felt a connection. We kept in touch and I arranged to come visit, I knew nobody else in Stockholm so upon arrival I checked into a hostel.
You and I noticed each other in the lobby, a slight nod of kinship , both of us Americans, dreadlocks, obviously rolling solo. You overheard me talking to the girl on the phone, joking about going clubbing. We were only making plans to meet at a bar for a drink. When i hung up you approached me and asked if i was going clubbing, I simply replied no and walked away. ( mind on the girl mind on the girl) You seemed a bit disappointed… The “date” was a flop, we had a few drinks, I was smitten, she went home.
I moped back to the hostel where I saw you again in the lobby, we sat next to each other for quite a while checking our emails or somberly surfing the web. I was in such a shit mood, I went outside to smoke a joint by myself then went up to my room and crashed. When I awoke in the morning I realized we were sleeping in the same room, we exchanged a brief “good morning” before we both went on our way. Not until a few days later when I was sitting on a train staring blankly out the window did I realize who you were! It was obvious from the jump that we would have gotten along, if I wasn’t so busy chasing skirt I could have made a friend. I can’t help but think that you might have even come along for a few shows.
I think about it every now and then and kick myself in the ass. Now when your name pops up I tend to pay attention. I’m happy you are back in the game and doing it your way. You could have conformed and made things a lot easier for yourself but you persisted on your path, I both admire and respect that. I place this experience on the shelf next to other missed opportunities in my life, like the lunch I should have taken with Slip-N-Slide records. Me+you+Trickdaddy could have been eating scrimps in South Beach right this moment, instead I’m in freezing Berlin grinding it out on my umpteenth unpublicized tour, scrambling to catch cheap flights and dragging my busted merch case around like a bum leg…and I couldn’t be happier.

this could have been us!
ricky

One thought on “Dear Ricky Williams”

  1. what a great story! i remember reading a story about ricky in yoga magazine about healing in india and quitting the substances. i cut it out for my brother, a 1) big dolphins fan, 2) bigger ganja fan and 3) a guy who snorred his way through his first yoga class. A month later, I saw a news story that ricky tested positive for substances again. this story is hilarious

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