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Day 42 - Renaissance Man

When I started this journey, this quest to meet and connect with 100 people in 100 days, I was very specific that I wanted to meet anybody who would do it. I would meet anytime and anywhere. That kind of simplicity can't help but open the door for incredible things to happen, for amazing humans to enter your world. I met one of those amazing humans today, over burgers and fries in Summerville.

Logan Spivey is 15 years old. He loves video games and cooking, he writes and draws incredibly well. He is a loving son, has an incredible heart and a brilliant mind. You might walk by him in a given day and not think twice. If you overheard our conversation beginning with "top five video games," you might discount it as nothing particularly interesting. You would be the lesser for it, your world just a little darker.

Logan is a storyteller, every bit as good as I have ever been. As we ate and talked he told me the story of Evo Moment 37, a feat in the world of competitive video games the equivalent of Babe Ruth's legendary called shot. He tells the story with such love, such fascination, that it comes alive. Logan shows me the video of the actual event and I can't lie it is amazing, and even more so for his tale woven moments before. When he talks about his favorite video games, there are visceral reasons for them all, evolved opinions and thoughts. He connects with them, feels something through them, something even beyond catharsis. It is the same with his favorite book, Touching Spirit Bear, his love of Arthurian legend, history and science. He can name countless dinosaurs, going in depth on their behavior and capabilities, he sees so much of the world that it is a marvel to behold and it is easy to wonder if you are seeing enough. At the very least, you want to see what he sees.

He is a philosopher. Logan tells me about the loss to the world from our hoarding of knowledge, our inability to overcome labels and stereotypes for the common good. He laments how much farther we could be if we could only work together. He is right. How often we let our dividing lines be drawn deep, separate us and, ultimately, undo so much of our lives. We so often sink from division and hate. He knows this, and he is 15.

We talk about music, about our mutual love for hip hop, with its emergence from obscurity in the Bronx to its current dominance. Logan also loves jazz, a trait that makes us even more alike. Specifically, he loves Louis Armstrong. He can talk about music at length, he even writes lyrics. Logan writes poems and stories as well and its no surprise. Like I said, he is an amazing storyteller. His stories do not all end with good triumphant, nor are they all victories for evil. No, his stories sit on a midpoint where things happen as they do in the world, where sometimes good fails and evil's plan falls short as well. I wonder if I was half this insightful at the same age.

Logan is a loving son. He is currently working on monetizing his Twitch feed, a platform for the streaming of video game play by personalities that has been recently hitting a major stride with the rise of esports. We talk about this for a while and he impresses me with every minute. He knows his market, knows what he needs to do and he is working towards doing it. I know adults without this much drive, without this much passion, and this isn't even his dream. Logan loves the culinary arts. That's what he wants to study, that's what he wants to do. With all of the writing, the art, the video game streaming, his real dream is to make food. I can't wait to taste his food, as I have seen the things he is less passionate about and his cooking, his true passion and drive, must be miraculous to say the least.

What strikes me most as we talk about that thought is his generosity. He talks about helping other writers with story ideas, of giving them to friends who want to write more than he does. Logan wants to monetize his Twitch stream to help with the expenses of his house. He is even willing to help connections who don't know figure out their favorite dinosaur by considering their character traits and preferences. (He is great at that by the way, he is the only one to guess my favorite. The rest of you can wait.) I have heard so many philosophies put forth, and seen many abandoned, but not with Logan. He believes we should work together and he walks the walk.

We talk about great movies, his favorite is The Count of Monte Cristo, about the lessons we can learn from them and how they can change us. We talk about heroes, about comics, and how we can identify with them and learn to be better than ourselves. He loves Batman, identifies with him, and you can see how that has shaped him and his heart. It's an incredible thing. Life has not been an easy road for him, he has faced loss, but he moves forward with such a heart, so much courage and generosity, we could all learn something.

I have no children, and I have often heard people argue that the young don't know what they are talking about. They can be easily dismissed because we are foolish enough to think we know everything. I am happy I had my time with my new friend Logan, and grateful for everything he taught me about himself and the world.

Favorite DInosaur: Ankylosaurus

Why: It's very armored/sheltered, can defend itself very well. They are very social but can be solitary if needed and they are remarkably adaptable.

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