Monday, March 12, 2012

An open letter to the weird guy on my bus in 1986.

Dear socially inept, odd smelling, greasy haired, slouching guy with a lazy eye, odd speech syntax and perpetually grease smeared glasses who was a senior when I was a sophomore and who arbitrarily got assigned to sit by me on the bus in 1986,

Today I drove past your bus stop and for the first time in over a decade I thought of you. And I realized that I owe you an immense amount of thanks. Most people found you way too creepy to socialize with, even if they could get past the smell and sticky look of your spectacles. If we hadn't been assigned to share a seat I am pretty sure that I'd have never found a reason to have a conversation with you. But there we were, the second and third people on the bus with a 45 minute bus ride to fill with idle chatter.

Now, I am not sure you noticed but at the time i was not interested in your conversations. I smiled and nodded because I kind of felt sorry for you and while you were "Unique" and smelled like cabbage, pigeon droppings and sour fruit you were also very very nice.

Nice enough to loan me your favorite three books to read because I wasn't confident enough to tell you that I had absolutely NO desire to ready your weird sci-fi fantasy trilogy. And since I couldn't refuse to take the books I also felt obligated to read them. And imagine my surprise when i discovered I really liked them!

Now, I'd read The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia, so it wasn't like i'd never read anything of the fantasy genre, but it wasn't until I read those books you loaned me that I really discovered.... I have an inner nerd.

So, my arbitrarily assigned bus seat partner, thank you for loaning me your copies of the first trilogy of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever. I read them again, and discovered there were three more at the time. So I read them, too. As well as a lot of other stuff in the genre. And now I know there more that have been written since I read them last.

I know sooner or later I'd have found my way here on my own, but still, thanks. I've spent a lot of hours with my nose in a book thanks to you.



  1. I love your letter. I think we should all reflect back on those times and write a letter to someone that perhaps we weren't exactly kind to.

  2. Luckily I was always nice to him. I even got picked on for being "friends" with him. But it was just because I felt bad, because everyone else was mean to him, not because I actually wanted to be nice to him.

    And looking back now I can see that his annoying conversations were actually pretty fascinating. Looking back it is obvious he was absolutely brilliant... the type of person I would love to talk to now. He is probably bringing down 6 figures in some brainy job somewhere while folks like me with clean glasses and no funny smells are living in a single wide mobile and smell like goats. lol.

  3. I love this post. A bit of time gives a lot of perspective, doesn't it? It is so sweet to read you took the time to read the books, and a testimony of your kindness that you did not treat him as others , I suspect the "inner nerd" in you kind of recognized a bit of his "unique" character , and I also suspect whoever assigned you & he to be bus partners thought he'd be safe with you, and you with him. That counts for a lot in this life.