So I haven’t met John Green.
Despite being from Indianapolis.
Despite looking for him every time I’m at the Indy airport.
Despite showing his picture to my family just in case they see him in Indianapolis and can tell him who I am (because then he’d remember it forever).
In fact, my family is completely unhelpful. Rhett even said, “He looks like any other man I’ve ever seen in Indianapolis.” Excuse me, Rhett? Do you have eyes? Do you even care about this at all? “No,” he’d say.
Despite all of this, I have imagined meeting John Green for some time now…
I walk around the Indy airport, about to leave to go back to California. Maybe it’s summertime. Maybe it’s not.
Mom & Dad dropped me off early, so I’m walking along looking at the work by Hoosier artists displayed in glass cases because that’s what I do at the airport. (I do not utilize as much of the free WiFi as possible. No.)
In the reflection of the glass I see a puff of hair. A big hair puff. And under this hair is the leader of Nerdfighters: Mr. John Green.
Me: You’re John Green.
JG: Hi. How’s it going?
Me: Really great! How are you? How’s it- how you?
JG: I’m well.
Me: I’m not a crazy one. The people who hyperventilate because they’re so excited to see you. I mean, they aren’t crazy because they’re just super excited to meet you because you’ve made a huge impact on them and that’s cool I just mean that I’m not like that I mean, yes, I’m a fan, and- and- and- and- and- Oh gosh.
JG: Thank you.
John Green starts to walk away. This is worse than Ralphie seeing Santa. I have to think fast.
John Green turns back and smiles a little.
Me: I love the vlogbrothers and what they stand for. I participate in Esther Day. That’s one of the coolest initiatives, and you’re you’re you’re a great writer as well.
John Green nods.
JG (telepathically): Yes. Yes, I am.
Me: I could maybe babysit your kids sometime, or go to lunch with your wife.
John Green walks away.
And that would be it.
Even in my imagination, this interaction does not go well, but I will continue to imagine. I will still look around at the airport. I will still show my family his picture.
I will still pretend to think that if we met, we would be friends because… aren’t we already?
Isn’t that what happens when you are pulled into a world that someone creates? You read and watch, and suddenly you know who they are. And they know exactly who you are because what they’re saying verbalizes all of the feelings you have and even the ones you didn’t know you have. That’s what’s so cool about telling stories and sharing them. The stories and storytellers become almost as dear of confidants as the people who are actually around us. Reading and watching is as comforting as a hug from a good friend.
So even if a real meeting with John Green would go as spectacularly terrible as the one I’ve imagined (and most likely it would), it’s okay because we’re friends already (he just doesn’t know it yet).