I spent only about a day or so with Glenn in Australia, under the rarefied circumstances of a conference, so you might think it hard to justify flying out to Seattle just to see him for a bit. But I wasn't really worried that it would be awkward. I met him at the baggage claim at the Seattle airport, after he had been in transit for 20 hours (and up at 4am to begin the journey). He looked a little dazed and perhaps a tad disheveled but just seeing him made me realize that making the trip was absolutely the right thing to do. It was great to see him, and to introduce him to his stateside counterpart Brian, and to tour Seattle with him under the tutelage of his host Lee (ctseawa, whom we met up with a little later). He only had to say a word or two and I was transported back to Perth, and my whole trip was vivid in my head again. He is an exceptionally nice and fun guy, who enjoys himself. In fact, when I met him last year he was under a great deal of work stress, so even though I would have thought him to be quite easygoing and pleasant it turns out that I was seeing a diminished version.
This sounds vague in the telling. What I'm trying to convey is that even though in practical terms I haven't known Glenn well or for long it felt like a delightful reunion.
Oh yes, and the doppelgangers met. This is stolen from Glenn, a picture taken at the end of our time together, outside the new Seattle Public Library. Brian and Glenn are pretending that the open space in the structure is a mirror. For my generational cohort I point out that they were playing Patty Duke:
I know that you can look at the picture and say, "Well, they don't really look identical. Glenn's jaw is different, and their noses are...". But that's so missing the point. I mean, these guys are not related at all. There is no reason to expect any resemblance whatsoever. What's notable is not what's different, but what isn't. I still say it's amazing. Even Glenn said to Brian, looking at Brian on departure, "This is what I see when I look in the mirror."
When Brian gets around to downloading the pictures he took there should be one that Brian has dubbed "Steven and his boys." Yeah, that trip was worth it.