You were fifteen and sort of angry in a general way, so you took your bike and tossed it down the steps into the park, letting it clatter and fall apart as it bounced on the cement. Your dad bought you that bike, and it worked fine still, but for some reason you decided to smash it to pieces.
Amid the sound of a bicycle bouncing end over end you were surprised to hear a man’s shout. You went downstairs to find a homeless man of about fifty-five sitting before a fire, rubbing the back of his head where your bike hit him. You apologized and he introduced himself as Ned.
A friendship began. You joined Ned nearly every night after school and watched him cook possum for dinner and he listened to you tell him about the teachers at school. Ned taught you to never believe anything that’s ever written in any book. Not ever.
“Not even the Thesaurus,” he said.
You were a devoted student of Ned’s and you obeyed his teachings. You came to believe that Ned knew more than you might ever know. He certainly knew more than all of your teachers combined. You decided that you would only accept knowledge that came from one of your talks with Ned, and you would only pursue a life according to Ned’s rules. You’re in prison now for exposing yourself to a minor during an armed robbery.
Happy How You And Ned Met Day!