I'd bought a gorgeous cruiser bike at a yard sale, its freckled chrome chainguard read "Hercules" in '50s font. Hercules had a front headlight run on a little pedal-powered generator, and wide chrome fenders. Underneath a patina of rust it was painted the most dreamy, cosmic midnight blue. I had my heart set on sprucing it up for the spring, and swapping my current bike out for it. It was early spring after a winter spent sleeping every night in my boyfriend's hardly-heated house. It was just March, but this bike was going to be what ushered in spring. I was 18 and had spent the year, partly by my own hand, feeling invisible. A ghost.
My boyfriend's brother's friend Nick G----- (he is a person where people naturally call him by both first and last name) came into the yard where I was trying to wipe down the frame with a rag. He said something along the lines of "what a great bike!" You can see me? And wasn't it a great bike, though? And then he went back inside. Ok.
But then he returned to the yard with a tool box. He handed me a little brush with metal bristles. "You're gonna want to use this guy." He gestured to the rust buildup on the wheel. And then we sat out there, and it wasn't a nice day, for the better part of an hour cleaning the bike. I hardly knew him. Had seen him around a little.
Tomorrow is a big day for Nick (though it is a bit of a technicality...and really this happened last year...but sometimes departments are mushy with paperwork..) So, though he is in a PhD program, tomorrow he is (officially) a Master. Of Science.
Nick. You don't seek attention. You avoid your birthday at all costs. When I am busy spilling beer while telling a story, you are talking to the shyest person at the party and then running out for more ice.
You're not the kind of guy who demands a day, but tomorrow you are having a day. Deal with it. I am super proud of you.