I keep seeing this particular redheaded kid walking around campus. I know nothing about him, but I notice and recognize him without any effort at all.
usually it's the intersection of Grant Street and State, the edge of campus.
I'm not over there that often... am I? bookstore, business school... not my usual scene.
but actually I do find myself hiking over there weekly or so now. I'm research-assisting for professors over in Young Hall this year.
one day I noticed this particular redhead, recognized him, and wondered what the chances of my seeing him almost every time I walk over that way actually were. is that calculable? hmm. that time we both walked north, up to the curb, to wait for the traffic to give us space to cross.
as we stood there, I imagined myself quoting lyrics from the Dr. Horrible song.
"love your hair," perhaps I would say, with a silly inside-joke-ish smile.
but I didn't. I didn't even mumble.
I wonder what the chances are that this random kid would get the reference, anyway. even if I sing my compliment... he might not.
talking to strangers--even strangers you cross paths with multiple times per week--seems so weird to do most of the time. the reason for it has to be either unquestionably pressing or innocuously shallow. it's either hey you really ought to watch out before you gets hit by a bus or hmm, nice day for all this awful construction they're doing, isn't it? two very different extremes.
speaking of strangers, I must tell you all about my favourite new podcast of the same name. it lives over here on this website called Story Central. Lea Thau, the host, is the loveliest. the work she does is a marvel and a half. I want a job like hers.
if I ever actually do find an appropriate path-crossing moment in which to comment on how cool and red the hair of this fellow-Purdue student stranger is, I'll let you know how it goes.