There was a time, back in the mid to late '90's, when I tried to manufacture a life of consequence. Nothing great, but something more than whatever I'm doing now. After I had decided to major in biological anthropology at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, a brilliant, charming and extremely affable man, Dr. Michael Gibbons, became a part of my life. He was my degree advisor, and encouraged me to go to graduate school. He laughed at all my jokes, and sometimes we went to lunch together, and got along famously. He occasionally took me to Harvard University, where he worked on Thursdays, cataloging bones. It was wonderful. He made me feel smart, when I clearly am not. On one of our Harvard visits, we ran into E.O. White, the famous Entomologist and "ant guy." I swooned.
Dr. Gibbons also gave me endless advice about women and dating. I'll never forget when he took me to lunch (he always paid) with a young lady I was dating at the time. By the time he was done singing my praises, I honestly think this woman would have married me on the spot. He was a pilot, and tested fighter jets for the US Navy every so often. Women love pilots, don't you know.
At a time when I weighed 480 lbs and was in need of support and friendship, he was always there. Our emails, phone calls, and conversations in class and elsewhere really gave me a confidence that was desperately needed.
I'm looking for you, Dr. Gibbons. When I find you, dinner is on my this time.