I've been e-mailing back and forth with Chris, AKA Raggedyman for a while now. He's offered me shelter in the past but hasn't been able to until now because of issues on his end. Now though he has some free time and I'm able to visit him.
I've been hitching a ride towards Houston, which is his general location. For both of our sakes I'm not going to get more specific.
Raggedy (or Chris, I'm still not sure what I should be calling him) is a pretty cool guy. He's kind of tall and he has a bit more muscle than me (though not much) and he definitely has more combat skills but I still feel pretty comfortable around him. He's not menacing. Just another guy like me. And he's really into anime and manga so we have a lot to talk about. In fact, the first thing he did was grab my attention by calling me "Battosai." It really made me smile after I realized that it was him but I really wish he had chosen a less dramatic way of introducing himself. I was really close to starting to whack him with Lily.
"Not Battosai," I told him once I confirmed it was him and my heartbeat slowed back down a bit. "Just Rurouni."
He grinned. "Sorry for the scare but I couldn't resist." He's got a really distinct and powerful voice, and between that and his flair for the dramatic, I think he was probably showing off some. "It's good to see you made it here in one piece. I was worried that these sudden storms we got were gonna knock you for a loop." He put his arm around my shoulders to guide me to his car, which was really weird and kind of uncomfortable for me. It's been a long time since I've had any sort of physical contact with anyone who isn't trying to kill me, and I'm not really use to people touching me anyway. "Welcome to Texas, the bipolar state. Where you can get heat, rain, and snow all in one week, and I am not exaggerating there. And you might get shot too. So...how have you been holding up?"
We chatted about our lives and situations and shared some of our stories on the drive back to his apartment. Nothing really important or anything, but it was nice being able to just casually talk with a normal person again. And he is a normal person, or at least as normal as any of us can be. Average height, average build, brown hair...the only real unusual thing about him visually is his eyes. I've never seen someone with gray eyes before. They look kind of different depending on the lighting too, which is really cool. But he's got normal, geeky interests.
Raggedy's apartment is pretty empty, and all he has beyond the essentials are a computer and old TV with a PS3. The few things he does have sitting around are all anime and JRPG figurines, but there aren't many of those, either.. He does have a lot of collectable card game things though--mostly Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. "Oh, those?" he asked when he saw me looking at them. "Yeah, I use them for some dimensional bleeding experiments." I wasn't sure what he meant, since I never really picked up on what dimensional bleeding is, but he told me he'd show me if I stuck around for a few days.
Whatever he's talking about, I'm hoping I can help him out to repay him some. I feel really guilty staying with him. He's letting me use his shower, his bed, his computer, and he's feeding me on top of that. I think I was probably showering for an hour or more. It's been so long since I've been able to wash up like that and feel so clean. That's the biggest highlight of this so far. Hotel showers are okay and everything, but the shampoo and soap just aren't of any good quality. But with all he's done for me, I can't help but feel bad. He's telling me that just the company is payment enough, but I'm getting his company too, and it's been so long since I've had company that I feel like I'm getting more out of that, too.
Of course, it'd be rude not to take advantage of Chris's hospitality. So I think I'm going to take a nice long nap and see if I can help him out with that dimensional bleeding thing later on.