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.