The person you met isn't always the one you headed out to meet / by Kevin Swantek

Friday night I left my Greenlake apartment to a bar called Rookies in Columbia City. I took the 16 bus downtown, and caught the light rail to Columbia City. I was heading to an after party for a local podcast (with national and international recognition) called TBTL. TBTL stands for Too Beautiful to Live, hosted Luke Burbank, and co-hosted by Andrew Walsh. I caught a 7:30ish bus, and arrived at Rookies around 9ish. No one that I would have recognized was there yet when I arrived. I sat down at the bar and nursed a drink. Shortly after, another dude sat down next to me, and chatted me up about the Seahawks and the Mariners. His introduced himself to me as Thumper. 

I'm not totally sure what I should and shouldn't say about Thumper's life, but I think I'm comfortable relaying a few of the things he told me. What is to follow is an abridged account of our conversation. Thumper told me he ran away from home when he was 13. He said he attended Stanford, and then enrolled in the military. He served 8 years. He showed me the two scars where he said he was shot, by lifting up his sweatshirt, and the leg of his sweats. He was a fully engaged, and unique spirit. He was someone that I was happy to meet.

Half way through our conversation I had noticed that the hosts of TBTL, Luke Burbank and Andrew Walsh had arrived, but I stayed at the table with Thumper because our conversation wasn't done. It wasn't until I actually had to leave to catch the light rail back to downtown Seattle that I made my way over to the actual podcast after party. I talked to Andrew Walsh for a few minutes, and then also said good by to Luke Burbank.

It's funny to think that I headed to see these two people that I listen to daily, and then spent 98% of my time talking to a stranger.