I think the garbage man wants me to say Hi to him.

I met Johann the first time he emptied my waste bin.

That’s when Johann told me he befriended a man who used to flip him off each week. And by befriended, one week, the man no longer flipped off Johann.

Prior to that day, Johann would always wave to the man flipping him off.

Johann has not yet waved to me because I have stayed hidden since the day we met.

So on one random day, I said to wife, “I think the garbage man wants me to say Hi to him.”

Within days of this statement, I watched Johann through my office window.

Still, Johann did not wave.

I did not flip him off.

That’s when I told myself that I would soon step outside and reintroduce myself to Johann.

Within two weeks, I said Hi to Johann, and he shared many stories:

  • He’s only been bit by one dog in six years.
  • He has my phone number stored in another phone.
  • He got his son to eat a grilled cheese sandwich by calling it a “hot cheese sandwich.”
  • His daughter tried, but did not love, cauliflower fries.
  • His doctor wants him to take off six weeks due to severe pain in his arms.
  • His truck hauls tens of thousands of pounds of waste.
  • He loves consuming food.
  • He appreciates my gratefulness for his weekly duties.
  • He visited a strip club which served the best hot dogs ever.
  • He wants to get some of these hot dogs shipped to him.

I am thankful I said Hi to Johann.

Because in addition to the connection we shared, I think pieces of Johann’s stories could work well if integrated into some of my characters on the page.

Because unique intricacies make characters memorable.

Will you remember Johann?

Are you gathering oddities from the people in the story of your life?

If not, why?

Because maybe someone wants you to wave or say Hi to them?

If so, get at it, and don’t let them flip you off while doing it.  😉