INTERVIEW — TAPE #32, SIDE #2
Q: Mark Russell Bell
P: Paul Russell (my father in California)
B: Michael Paul Russell (my twin brother)
N: The Meadows of LaHabra. This is Bill speaking. How can I help you?
Q: Paul Russell.
N: Okay. Hold on.
P: (in background after someone picks up receiver) I’ll take it over here.
P: I don’t want to go over there. (“WHY”)
N: Hold on.
Q: Oh, hi, Paul?
P: Mark? (“YOU”) Hi, Mark.
Q: You guessed it was me calling. How nice.
P: Yeah, you’re a little late this month. (“OH”) Last month, you called real early and I wrote two or three pages on the front and the back. (“UH-HUH” “OH WELL”)
Q: Well, it’s Christmas Eve.
P: And I didn’t mail it. (“IT’S”)
Q: It’s Christmas Eve, but that’s okay.
Q: By the way, my genealogist is coming by next week with the Boyer research.
P: You’re seeing your what?
Q: My family history specialist.
P: Oh. Hey, I had — in the letter I mentioned — ohhh, I’m leaving stuff out now when I rewrite it. I have to rewrite it every time you call.
Q: I felt — (“YOU KNOW”) I thought it would be nice (“SINCE”) — it being Christmas Eve. I’ve decided that (“LIKE”) I’m finishing my book this weekend. And it’s all Q&A interviews, so I thought I would tape this call so we could have the last interview in my book.
P: Oh, no. Ohhhh no, not me. (laughs)
Q: Oh, why not? (“UH-HUH”)
P: I’m not only narrow-mined, I’m absent-minded. Mark, did you get a letter from Winter Park or anything?
Q: No, I didn’t but I sent a Christmas card to Grandpa. (“UH-HUH”)
P: Well, that’s okay as long as you don’t call. (“I GAVE HIM MAR”)
Q: I gave him a good stock tip too.
P: If you’re going to call, call Taddy (“YOU KNOW”) and he can relay the message to him (“HERE YOU GO”) because he has to call them. He’s their son.
Q: He didn’t return my call when I called him. (“UH-HUH”)
P: And he’s your half-uncle.
Q: Well, maybe (“MAYBE MY MISTAKE”) — well, he never called me back. I left a message. (“NO”)
P: He never did?
P: I’ll be darned. Well, write him anyway. I gave you a couple of suggestions in there.
Q: But I didn’t receive your letter yet. You haven’t mailed it.
P: Aunt Esther’s got stuff for you and most of it’s — (“BUT”)
Q: Are you going to mail that (“E”) letter to me?
P: — and she — well, yeah, but I had something else too.
Q: What? I need a shock ending for my book. A surprise ending.
P: And I was going to give it to Esther but she flew (“SHE”) up north. She left the twenty-first and she didn’t tell me she was leaving until I saw her. She came by on the nineteenth. (“FOR”) And so everything’s been going good. I’m coming out real good on Sulfa treatment after delaying it two to three years.
Q: How do you spell that? I’m not familiar with it.
P: I think I’ll be able to go shopping in L.A.
Q: How do you spell Sulfa treatment?
P: Oh, Sulfa — S — U — L — F — A. But don’t worry about that because that’s a medicine and if you ever call Aunt Esther don’t mention any medicine. (“NO”)
Q: No, she’s a Christian Scientist like me.
P: I told her. (small laugh) If I had any — and, anyway, I’m not too good on the phone anymore. Especially after this week.
Q: Well, I’m finishing my book. (“NO”)
P: And last week and the last month and the last year and the last five (“RIGHT”) years. I’ve been here six years.
Q: Okay, but I’m finishing my book today so do you have any (“SOME”) surprise revelations?
P: Don’t put me in yet.
Q: No, but I need a good ending like maybe (“WHO”) who my brother’s — (“FRIEND”)
P: I got a good beginning, a good ending. I could proofread it for — who’s your agent? (“UH”)
Q: I don’t have an agent yet because I haven’t finished it.
P: Who’s going to publish it?
Q: I’m hoping Simon & Schuster but I might have to self-publish it. (“UH-HUH”)
P: Have you ever sent them anything else? (“YEAH I”)
Q: Oh no. (“UH-UH”)
P: Have you sent anybody anything?
Q: Yeah. Over the years I have. (“UH-UH”)
P: To who?
Q: Well, I can’t remember. I don’t have the list in front of me.
P: No, okay. Well, don’t ask me for anything like that because all I am — I’m (“GOOD”) good with words.
Q: But you can tell me who the identity of my half-brother or brother is; or half-sister. Sibling. (“THE”) The third sibling (“ON THE”) on the family chart that Bob sent me. You could tell me who the identity is and then I’d have a good ending.
P: Of the third?
P: The third sibling.
Q: Right. (“THERE’S A”) There were three underneath your name on the chart.
P: Oh I see. Okay, I was first. (“NO”)
Q: No, I’m talking about your sons — your children. There were three numbers underneath your name.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE NUMBERS ARE 1-774511, 1-774512 AND 1-774513.)
P: There is?
P: Well, there’s Mark. Because he was in a hurry. And —
Q: That was me.
P: — when he got here he just kept sleeping all the time. And Mike.
Q: Yeah, I didn’t cry when I was born and all that.
P: He didn’t want to come because you were (“NOT”) taking all the — crowding the scene. (“GAY”) So, Ms. Mikey — and number three? I’m sorry. That’s triplets.
Q: Well? (“I TAKE”)
P: Yeah, but I don’t know where they are. (laughs)
Q: But was there a third?
P: Not yet.
Q: But there are three numbers underneath your name on the family tree. (“YEAH” “YEAH” “UH-HUH”) Three different numbers. (“YEAH”)
P: What family tree?
Q: The one that Uncle Bob mailed me a long time ago.
P: Uncle who? How did he get in on this?
Q: Oh, come on. Don’t play crazy on me.
P: What? (“YOU’RE PRE”)
Q: You’re pretending to be nuts. You know. After the first call I made to him to get your phone number, he sent me —
P: Okay, well don’t call him back again.
Q: I’m not. I’m not. You know that.
P: Okay, now I got five bills. From Dad. That’s the first money he’s mailed except $50 when I was broke once.
Q: He did?!
P: And then he gave it to Allen and Bob or something.
Q: I got a card from Allen.
P: And they spent it on my car.
Q: I got a Christmas card from Allen whose wife, Dorothy, dropped dead all of a sudden under mysterious circumstances.
Q: Uncle Allen’s wife.
P: I thought you said Ellen. You said Allen. Oh, Allen.
Q: Allen. (“RIGHT”) He sent me a Christmas card.
P: Now what’s the name of that town?
Q: I don’t have it in front of me.
P: Is it near Colorado Springs?
Q: Yes. It’s in Colorado. (“SSS”)
P: Something something west.
Q: Something weird. Yeah.
P: West. Something something west.
Q: Well, he sent me a Christmas card. I’ve never even met him in my life and he sent me — (“CHRISTMAS”)
P: And he’s got the 500.
Q: What 500?
P: It’s in my name.
Q: How much did (“UNC”) Granddad — (“DID”) how much did he send you?
P: It’s the first time I’ve ever heard from him. I only saw him two or three times in Florida. (“NO”) Miami. (“EUU”) After he left — (“UH-HUH”) ran away from home. Now he’s a hundred years old and he’s got more money than you and me and Mike put together.
Q: Oh, I’m sure he does. I sent him —
P: Sure he does.
Q: — a hot stock tip, though.
P: He can keep it. I’m tearing the check up or giving it to you.
Q: How much money was the check for? (“OOHHH”)
P: Well, it’s about half of the check I made out for you. (“SO IT’S BEEN”) And I owe Mike $200.
Q: Oh you don’t owe anyone anything.
P: And if he didn’t get the $600 — I owe him $800.
Q: Michael makes a good living at Rogers & Cowan.
P: Because I sent you $100 savings bonds.
Q: Oh, who cares. That’s penny ante. I made over $100,000 last year.
P: I know it is but did you ever get it?
Q: No, I didn’t — (“UH-HUH”)
P: Well, Bob —
Q: Wait, I did — maybe I did. I did get a savings bond from you at one point.
P: When did you get them?
Q: A long time ago.
P: Where were you when you got them?
Q: I think I was living in Pasadena at the time.
P: You were still in Pasadena?
P: When I called you. Alright. When did you cash them?
Q: Pretty soon. I didn’t really wait for them to reach fruition.
P: You went ahead and cashed them?
P: Okay, well I owe him $200.
Q: I needed the money for something. You don’t owe —
P: And don’t worry about it now because whatever I send you — I don’t know if I’m going to do it through the mail. And then Aunt Esther won’t be back until the 28th.
Q: Why did Granddad send you money, though, all of a sudden for no reason?
P: What reason? I’ve been doing it since 1981. And you keep sending them back.
Q: No, I’m talking about Granddad. Did Granddad send you something? (“YEAH”)
P: Yes. I told you — 500. I never heard from him before.
Q: But why did he give it?
P: Because I haven’t written him.
Q: I don’t understand.
P: We called him once for $100 and I think he sent $75. And he had a taxi cab accident or something, he told them. I don’t remember. This is twenty-five years ago.
Q: Well, I sent him two cards.
P: And then one of my brothers took their car down and spent it all on the car — gave me about ten bucks. (“RIGHT”) And sent me back to L.A. to walk the streets. And run away from dogs. There weren’t no gang members around then. (“WHAT”)
Q: What were they? Dogs?
P: Yeah, a little puppy coming down the street. You cross the street so you don’t get bit.
Q: Was it black? (“I”)
P: I’m talking about any time. I got bit when I was a kid but I’m not afraid of them. (“BREA”) I just don’t let them get near me. That’s all. If I see one I’ll watch it. That’s all. I won’t cross the street. I’ll just — (“KICK”)
Q: I want something beefy. Give me some good news. Something I can use in my book like —
P: Mark — Mark —
Q: — some secret identity or something.
P: — you’re supposed to call around seven. No, that’s right, I told you eight.
Q: That’s right. You’re a lot smarter than you pretend to be.
P: Well, this is after nine. (“NO”)
Q: Anyway, let me tell you real quick —
P: My eyes are 110 years old. My feet are 140 because I played tennis.
Q: Has it been warmer there than usual? (“IT”)
P: And warts.
Q: Have you felt a strange warmth around you recently?
P: You better read my letters. I got three or four letters.
Q: Well, you haven’t mailed them to me and I can’t wait to get them.
P: I’ll tell you what, then. (“WHA”) If I ever get over near there, (“HI”) it would take me (“FFF”) four hours to get to — Trader Joe’s is down there.
Q: Did you see that TV special I told you to watch?
P: Which one?
Q: You know: “Ghosts, Mediums, Psychics: Put To The Test.”
P: I don’t remember. Did you tell me?
Q: It’s no big deal. I can’t wait to get your letter. Is there some good dirt in there? Some good family secret or something?
P: You already asked me if it had anything to do with abuse. Remember?
Q: Oh, boy, I can’t wait.
P: And I told you, “No, it didn’t have anything to do with that.”
Q: Oh, how disappointing. My poltergeist story needs an interesting twist.
P: . . . It’s about $3,000 — if that means anything.
Q: That’s nothing. That’s chickenshit to Grandpa.
P: I know it is. To you and to me now.
Q: I pay more than that for psychotherapy. I mean come on. Anyway, so I’m finishing my book. The sequel is going to be about aliens.
P: We’re going to have to change the title. We won’t even be able to tell Aunt Esther about that.
Q: Well, my second book is about aliens choosing me at random to film a documentary of my life. And they also film my relatives, my friends, people in the industry who happen to read my book like, let’s say, Sherry Lansing and people like that.
P: What industry?
Q: The film industry.
P: You mean like film on the teeth? They call that plaque.
Q: If you had watched that TV show, you would have seen a close-up picture of five transparent aliens. And I think they’re making a documentary on my life.
P: What have you done?
Q: I’m Son of Man. Have you ever heard of Son of Man?
P: Mark, this is all talk. I almost failed philosophy at USC. I quit school.
Q: Do you know who Son of Man is?
P: I failed philosophy.
Q: It doesn’t have anything to do with philosophy. No one knows who Son of Man is except for a few people who are really into that shit.
P: Okay, well you don’t have to keep — you’ve been doing this since junior high.
Q: Doing what?
P: In junior high you had to go and raise your grade point average because Mike was ahead of you.
Q: That’s not true.
P: You’re going to have to read one of my letters. And I can’t read them. The batteries are dead on my magnifier.
Q: Uh-oh. It sounds like poltergeist phenomena to me. Aliens are filming all the people I know. All my relatives. Uncle Bob. Grandpa. Sherry Lansing, Allison Jackson and all my friends at Paramount.
P: They’re figments.
Q: Figments of who?
P: Of you-know-what.
Q: My own imagination.
P: That’s right. Bye.
P: And merry Christmas. Tell Mike merry Christmas.
Q: Okay, bye.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE FOLLOWING TELEPHONE CONVERSATION IS WITH MY BROTHER WHO APPARENTLY HAD BEEN ASLEEP.)
Q: Hello. So, anyway, I spoke to Dad. And, you know, I’m trying to finish my book so I thought I would talk to you and give you and me the final words in my book. (“UH-HUH”) Because we are twins. So what do you think now after all this phenomena you’ve witnessed such as when I came to your office last and your intercom stopped working all of a sudden. And, well, there’s just been so many things. (“UM”) What do you think about Michael right now?
B: I don’t know. It’s more your experience.
Q: I mean you understand, don’t you. This is a task that I never would have chosen for myself?
Q: Is that a yes?
Q: And what do you think, though? Why do you think I was chosen if I was chosen?
B: I don’t know.
Q: Is it symbolic because of what I was doing at Paramount? Didn’t you say I was like a — what?
B: Like a what? I don’t know.
Q: Once you said I was like a ‘carpenter,’ right?
B: Did I?
Q: Yeah. (“LIKE A”) You said, “You were sort of like a carpenter in the studio system.”
B: (yawns) I don’t remember.
Q: So it’s symbolic but if somebody had to write a new Testament for mankind, do you think I have the eloquence to bring it off? (“YEAH”)
Q: Is that a yes?
Q: I mean I think I have a certain eloquence.
Q: So you think this is a good ending? (“YEAH”) It’s time for the Son to put in his appearance. (“UH-HUH”) I wonder what the reaction’s going to be. (“YEAH”)
B: It’s hard to say.
Q: It’s hard to say. (“OUH”)
Q: I don’t want my book to end with a yawn. (“UH-HUH”) Do you have any final thing you want to say?
B: Mmm, I can’t think right now.
Q: I can’t either. Well, I guess I’ll see you tomorrow.
( . . . )
Q: I got up early to watch the sunrise. (“UH-HUH”) It’s 6:45. (“UH-HUH”) I see a beautiful formation of a dove in the clouds. The colors are pink and blue and dark blue and purple. It’s beautiful. (“UH-HUH”) But even now the image fades — (“UH-HUH”) the image that began as an angel and became a dove. It’s beautiful. (“UH-HUH”) The dove has become an owl. A beautiful owl — and even now it fades. The large cloud now looks — first it gleamed like fire. And dark gray clouds are all around the fire. The fire in the sky is lovely, though. Lovely. I surrender my life, my will, my love, my soul, everything I have, everything I am, everything I was, everything I will be, everything I would be, everything I would not be — I surrender. To you. God is the Creator. Alpha and Omega. Never ending. Always beginning. Sharing His love. Feeling the same emotions that we feel. I can be honest with Him and He with each of us. He knows that I understand Him. He understands me. He’s revealed Himself to me and I have accepted Him.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: I DECIDED TO SING A CHRISTMAS CAROL AND SELECTED THE FINAL ONE IN THE PRS HANDOUT.)
Q: (singing) Joy to the world! The Lord is come: let Earth receive her king. Let every heart prepare him room. And heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven, and heaven and nature sing. Joy to the world! The savior reigns: let men their songs employ. While fields and floods, (“NO”) rocks, hills and plains repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy, repeat, repeat the sounding joy. He rules the world with truth and grace and makes the nations prove the glories (“UH-HUH”) of his righteousness, and wonders of his love, (“FOR MY”) and wonders of his love, (“FOR MY”) and wonders, wonders of his love.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE FOLLOWING WAS TAPED IN MY CAR.)
Q: My book is — I keep thinking it’s over and then something else happens, so I guess I’ll use the rest of this tape. (“PPP”) Because it is still Christmas and Michael is still making His presence known.
B: He’ll always make his presence known.
Q: So, anyway, Mike and I are on our way to spend Christmas lunch (“LUNCH”) with Andy and Doris and Doris’s daughter.
Q: But what happened just now is I got everything I needed and put it into my Land’s End bag but then when I was outside I looked for the directions and the directions had disappeared. (“SO”) There was nothing I could do except go back to my condo and look for the directions. Well, that’s when the phone rang and it was my brother, Mike, saying that his battery was dead again after all and I would have to come and get him. So, basically, Michael made the directions disappear so I had to go back to my condo so I could get Michael’s telephone call so I would be able to take him to Christmas lunch. Wasn’t that nice of Michael?
B: Yes. (“SO UM”)
Q: And then, just now, under my CDs, I found the directions. Mike is making a weird noise (not audible on tape) to make me think it was Michael but it isn’t. It’s the other Michael. (“SO UM”) Anyway, also, I put on the U2 CD because I saw the song “One.” So I thought ‘one God’ — well, this would be good to play for Christmas Day and it turned out to be a really interesting song.
B: One God?
Q: No, it’s called “One.”
B: Turn left here, right?
Q: I think the CIA agents have the day off because I don’t see any state-of-the-art vans.
B: They do have it off today. Everybody has it off.
Q: Even CIA agents? (“I DON’T THINK” “IT’S ME”)
B: I don’t think those two guys next to us at the restaurant were CIA agents yesterday.
Q: I think they were because they kept looking surprised and startled.
B: They were listening to the conversation.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: A CD IS PLAYING AS I TURN ON THE TAPE RECORDER AGAIN.)
Q: Michael and I are listening to “Hey, St. Peter” by Flash & The Pan. Do you like this song, Michael?
B: Yes. Yes. Hey. (coughs) (“ENGLISH FOR ME”)
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE SONG LYRICS HEARD ON TAPE HERE ARE “HEY, ST. PETER, BEFORE YOU RING YOUR BELL —”)
B: Bell? Oh God. (“THIS IS” “I WANT TO SEE”)
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE SONG LYRICS HEARD ON TAPE HERE ARE “JUST BEEN DOWN TO YOUR TOWN. DONE MY TIME IN HELL.” AS I TURN ON THE TAPE RECORDER AGAIN, THE SONG PLAYING IS “MONEY (THAT’S WHAT I WANT)” PERFORMED BY THE FLYING LIZARDS.)
B: This is not a good Christmas song.
Q: I think this song is the epitome of Christmas in the ’90s.
B: (singing along) Yes — “That’s what I want. That’s what I want.”
Q: So Michael and I are listening to this CD that says New Wave Hits of the ’80s (vol. 1). I liked the —
B: Drive carefully.
Q: — songs in the ’80s much more than the songs in the ’90s. They just seem to be far more interesting. Listen to some of the titles on this CD. (“HURRY”)
B: Here. (“YOU GO”) “Ca Plane Pour Moi” — Plastic Bertrand. “Warm Leatherette” — The Normal. “One Way Or Another” — Blondie. “Hey, St. Peter” — Flash & The Pan. “Cruel To Be Kind” — Nick Lowe. “Too Young To Date” — D-Day. “Local Girls” — Graham Parker. “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” — Ramones. “My Sharona” — The Knack. “Girls Talk” — Dave Edmunds. “Video Killed The Radio Star” — The Buggles. “I Do The Rock” — Tim Curry. “Dirty Water” — The Inmates. “I’m A Believer” — Tin Huey. “Gidget Goes To Hell” — Suburban Lawns. And “Money (That’s What I Want)” — The Flying Lizards.
Q: Were those “Gidget” movies Paramount films?
B: I don’t recall.
Q: Are you a believer?
B: I don’t recall.
Q: What does “Ca Plane Pour Moi” mean?
B: Some things are best left untranslated. Let’s just say it is X-rated — what it means.
Q: Well, in a way, that’s interesting because in every Entity-related case (“SSS”) study, the Entity always speaks in foreign languages.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: MY BROTHER ENDED THE TAPE BEGINNING AN EXPERIMENT BUT THE TAPE ENDED WITHOUT RECORDING THE SONG SO I HAD MICHAEL WRITE DOWN THE RESULTS WHEN WE RETURNED TO HIS HOUSE. THE FOLLOWING IS WHAT HE NOTED ON A MEMO PAD PAGE.)
We turned on the radio —Instantly a channel was selected afterI pushed the FM search button.
A Christmas carol — an unfamiliar one —I don’t recall its exact lyric —something about God gave His son to the earthand filled the world with loveon Christmas Day!
(signed) Michael Russell