Since I left the US for Bogota and the beginning of a mad road trip that will take me to Buenos Aires, I have met lots of fascinating people but none has touched me like this troubled soul I shared a hostel with in Medellin. Below is the unedited (except for spelling) transcript of my Facebook posts from this time.
Sept 5, 2012
11:37 AM: There is a guy in my hostel, of ambiguous ethnicity, who apparently doesn’t leave, who is never not drinking a beer, who has not spoken a word to anyone since i’ve been here, who watches videos of alarm clocks going off on youtube.
6:30 PM: The guy in my hostel, who doesn’t speak, who watches youtube videos of alarm clocks going off, just yelled at the cat for meowing, using a fatherly yet terrifying tone of voice.
Sept 6, 2012
12:31 AM: I just got home, and the guy in my hostel, who doesn’t speak, is lurking around in the shadows with a beer. He did, however, demonstrate a kind of grandfatherly affection to the cat earlier.
Sept 7, 2012
12:01 PM: The guy in my hostel, who never speaks to anyone, who watches videos of alarm clocks going off on Youtube, wears the same outfit everyday: a faded Thundercats t-shirt and hawaiian shorts.
1:52 PM: The guy in my hostel, who doesn’t talk to anyone, who wears the same thundercats t-shirt every day, is making a steak for lunch. It looks good.
2:44 PM: The only reason I haven’t spoken to the guy in my hostel, of ambiguous ethnicity, who makes a damn good steak, is I’m afraid he might try to be my Facebook friend and see these status updates.
10:35 PM: I just said hello to the guy in my hostel, who never speaks to anyone, and is always drinking a beer. He didn’t respond and instead stared vacantly into the freezer for ~3 seconds. I think he’s a nice person.
Sept 8, 2012
1:52 PM: Just passed the guy in my hostel, who wears the same Thundercats t-shirt every day, on the street. He was smoking a cigarette and looking at the ground with a distressed expression on his face.
6:08 PM: No update, other than confessing to you guys that the biggest crush of my youth was on Tonya Harding, and it only grew in intensity after the Nancy Kerrigan debacle. Poor kid.
Sept 9, 2012
2:12 PM: The guy in my hostel, who is always drinking a beer, brushed my knee with his hand when he was plugging in his laptop today, then he sat quietly at the table in front of me watching cartoons from the 1940s.
2:57 PM: HE… SPEAKS…
3:10 PM: I was just talking to an Irish guy about the detrimental effects of cocaine use on the lower classes and the guy, who wears the same Thundercats shirt every day, and is always drinking a beer, spoke up and told several stories demonstrating an extensive knowledge of various drug-taking practices from around the world, wherein most of his information was gained from first-hand experience. The best word to describe his voice is “sweet.”
5:42 PM: There are several vocabulary choices and grammatical constructions in my last status that I find terrible, but due to its significance relative to the drama that has been unfolding over the past few days, I will leave it untouched.
8:23 PM: There is a guy in my hostel, who hasn’t gone outside in three days or changed his clothes in as many, who as time goes by speaks to other people less and the cat more, who spends all his time reading about conspiracy theories on the internet and meticulously observing the behavior of another guy of ambiguous ethnicity (who is always drinking a beer, who wears the same Thundercats t-shirt every day). That guy shares my name, physical description, and the passwords to my social media sites.
Sept 10, 2012
10:09 AM: This happened last night but for dramatic purposes I am telling it now. The guy, in my hostel, who never speaks to anyone, watched two ~3 minute video clips of nothing but people screaming, then a news report about people falling to their death from a hot air balloon.
10:14 AM: Then over the next two hours he waved his arms around and swore under his breath with growing intensity. My computer was plugged in next to his leg. I waited ~45 minutes for him to calm down but he grew more focused in his anger. I twisted my moustache hairs into a half-handlebar which I felt gave me more courage and went to disconnect my computer. He moved his legs out of the way to give me easier access to the socket.
10:52 AM: The guy in my hostel, of ambiguous ethnicity, who is always drinking a beer, is wearing a new shirt today which reads, “I got bourbon faced on shit street.” He is sitting with a peaceful expression on his face. If you believe in miracles, which I do, it is not a stretch to assume that our brief encounter last night reignited a sense of hope within him where previously he believed none existed.
Sept 11, 2012
10:46 AM: Fairly certain the guy in my hostel, who never speaks to anyone, who knows a ridiculous amount about drugs, is about to commit the ballsiest seat steal I have witnessed outside of elementary school.
10:46 AM: Seat. Stolen.
10:48 AM: The guy whose seat was stolen likely saw me posting my last status and stood around awkwardly for a moment unsure of what to do while the guy who up-to-recently wore the same Thundercats shirt every day said several seemingly unconnected numbers out loud in an aggravated tone of voice.
11:40 AM: The guy who never talks to anyone, who stole the seat, got up for ~10 minutes and returned to find the original occupant of the seat had sat down again. He picked up his soda bottle and, after muttering something unintelligible in an angry tone, went and sat in a different chair. At the moment he appears calm.
7:57 PM: This morning the guy in my hostel, who never speaks to anyone, who curses under his breath significantly more than average, was wearing pants for ~5 minutes. Then he switched back to hawaiian shorts. An unrecorded period of time later he was wearing pants again.
8:01 PM: I have his name.
8:01 PM: His name is Bill.
9:38 PM: Last night I dreamed that I invented a new kind of emoticon-penis that I shared with a dear friend, and, when shared, it animated and thus connected us in ways I never would have thought possible. Upon waking the first thing I felt was worry that the guy, who never talks to anybody, who is very kind to the cat, would not be here anymore, and I would be left to deal with a profound sense of emptiness caused by his absence.
Sept 12, 2012
10:13 AM: The guy, in my hostel, who now wears a “I got bourbon faced on shit street” t-shirt every day, was downloading some photos off a blue digital camera. Probably some sweet landscapes in there.
Sept 13, 2012
7:29 AM: I am departing imminently for the coffee region, and the guy in my hostel, who wears the same outfit every day, who I never saw hurt anyone, whose name is BILL, is nowhere to be seen. I have never been good at goodbyes. Shine on you crazy, beautiful, diamond.