(This is not a gush about N/A, so shut it, One-F Man)
It's kind of funny because when I met N/A, I had built up a public image of him in my mind, and it was: The bigmouth. The knows-everybody. The intimidator. The focused writer. The dude-who-sits-out-and-types-on-his-typewriter-at-the-fricking-coffee-shop. The smart poet. The instigator. The center of attention.
N/A is a well-known figure in the neighborhood. Out of anyone I've ever know, he definitely has a Reputation, with a capital R.
I was slightly intimidated by him. He has a Big Presence. And I'm a fairly quiet girl.
It was jarring initially, juggling my perception of the public persona I'd built for him in my head with the actual person.
The image I'd built for him didn't include someone who sneezes, hates onions, gets hurt feelings. It was kind of a cardboard facade of celebrite.
So I dig the fact that spending time with him reminds me almost daily of how nuanced and particular and normal people can be underneath such big voices.
He is The Poet, but he is also stupid, silly, aggravating, fun, occasionally boring, gentle, quiet, sweet, and doesn't think to soak a jam-jar first before trying to scrub the label off.
There's something comforting in being reminded that we are all incredibly unexpected and yet, so startlingly the same sometimes... that no matter how "big" the person, everyone has the same quiet needs.