It is always interesting to meet online personas in real life. My Fantasy Football league is filled with these sorts of guys, and they vary from what you’d expect, from really cool dudes to barely above a crustacean on the social scale. I’ve read magazines articles on folks, and later became friends with them. Chuckie V is the best example. I read about him winning Ironman Canada, hosted him in a homestay, and trained with him multiple times at bike camps. Reality is rarely what you imagine. For Chuckie, he was better than expected. A child in a man’s body, but a good man with a peaceful heart and one of the funnies people I know (if you have time to kill, check out his PCT Trail Journal).
I always enjoy meeting new people that have an interesting story to tell. Sometimes they are bloggers. Cappy was about as I expected. Generous, boisterous, outgoing, funny. Our lives differ, but we are a brotherhood in a disjointed, crazy way like you are as a family with your crazy Uncle George.
So last Saturday night I found myself in Madison, Wisconsin. A friend had gotten free tickets for Lewis Black (who I had last seen live about 15 years ago at a taping of the Daily Show), who was doing a show, so I had a night out. And it just so happened that Mr. Matt Forney was in town too, so we agreed to try and meet up (which is really code for: if it works out). So the night went like this: Lewis was very funny, though more political than I’d like, but funny. Afterward, we headed out to the Madison bars. If you haven’t been, it’s a great college town, and there seemed to be a lot of energy that night. We ended up at a cowboy establishment, complete with mechanical bull and 140 decibels of country songs (with a thumping beat). Matt’s other friends apparently bailed or weren’t feeling well, so he was flying solo and met us at said bar.
Matt blogs on his website, and for Return of Kings, among others. He’s a smart dude, and likes to throw various amounts of chum in the water in his opinions on intergender relationships among other topics. Like Cappy, he’s able to make a living (admittedly frugal) from just his writing, so I certainly respect the guy for that and cutting his own path through life.
So trying to carry a conversation in that environment was difficult to say the least. For awhile we enjoyed the scenery of drunk college girls riding the mechanical bull, and eventually headed to a quieter place. I wanted to hear mostly about his hitchhiking adventures, which were really interesting. He thumbed his way some 3,000+ miles (I forget the exact number) and had some interesting reflections about life on the road. As a huge fan of Kerouac’s On the Road (and just having bought Blue Highways: A Journey into America) the travel bum biopic has always fascinated me. Matt was a little quiet at first, but once you got him on a roll the dude could talk!
It was a fun, random night with someone else from the ‘Sphere, though in a much different place in life. He has his audience, I have mine, but even though we differ on a lot of things, some common ground is found as we navigate our own respective paths.