This post intended for Week 4
Sometime near the end of February and the beginning of March, I accidentally went to dinner at the campus cafeteria during its busiest time. Accepting my fate, I stood in line for what would surely be some form of chicken, potatoes, and squash. The line led outside the kitchen and past the first set of tables.
After having stood in line for a while, a boy came in through the back way; no doubt he ran out of cafeteria meals for the week and used up the last of his ramen.
He was taller than myself, which I always find to be an interesting characteristic because I am six feet and the rest of the world is full of hobbits by comparison. His short orange-red hair barely swayed when he turned his head. Odd.
He started making his way to the back of the line. In awe and annoyance he said to no one in particular, “is this seriously the line?” to which I said, “yes, welcome to Hell.” He didn’t acknowledge me, which I supposed was fine; it was noisy, so even if he had heard me, he probably didn’t know I was addressing him.
After that day I noticed we crossed paths a lot, sometimes several times a day. On my way to and from classes, at meals, or just walking around, there he was. Due to his red hair, beard, and height, I cleverly christened him The Tall Leprechaun Guy. Whenever I would see him I thought to myself, there goes The Tall Leprechaun Guy I barely had an interaction with that one time.
Several times it occurred to me to introduce myself and be friends, but I didn’t want to ruin what we had. After all, what if he turned out to be a jerk; then whenever I’d see him, I’d think, ugh there goes that jerk I have to see every day, with his stupid jerk-face. He’s got a lot of nerve existing and what have you.
Then two weeks ago, I saw him at breakfast and in-between all my classes, and at dinner. I came back to my dorm after dinner, looked out the window and there he was, walking by. This is the general experience of a small campus, but at that moment, something in me snapped and decided that enough was enough.
The next day I saw him in the kitchen at breakfast. I was grabbing some apple strudel before class and he started walking in my direction. This was it. I stopped him and said, “Hi, I see you around campus a lot but we don’t know each other and I think that’s weird. I’m Lauren.” I stuck out my hand and he shook it. “Hi, I’m Nick.” I nodded, “okay.” “Okay,” he laughed, and we carried on. Now everything is perfect, I know him enough to say I know him without destroying our non-relationship, and he can still be a complete jerk and I don’t have to know about it. Sometimes it’s nice to have these things.