An Unexpected Adventure.

3:15 PM

I’ve always had the luck of knowing people for brief periods creating most of the times “Points of Reference” in my life, either with some life experiences or something triggering some other stuff, so one time I met this guy cousin of a friend, he was cool and all and actually a very funny human being, I remember people just laughing when he was around, he created a nice environment, the good sense of humour and the smell of pot I think has something to do with it.

This fellow stuck around with our group of friends for a while, he was staying at his cousin place and obviously he hadn´t much of belongings with him, a couple of pipes, some clothing, and some books. One day I was meddling with his stuff and I found a pack of 4 publications with an odd smell, that odour of old books with yellowish pages, instantly by the look of it they took my attention, I’ve found within his belongings a Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the Hobbit bundle.

By that time I was about to turn 20, just entered college and discovering the tabletop RPG games at its fullest so the Lord of the Rings was a common topic of my nerdy group of friends but I haven´t read it yet, I wasn’t ashamed of it and I really wasn´t looking forward to reading it at that time, I kind of always postponed it some way or another, so when I found them in my friend belongings I took the chance and asked him if he could lend them to me, he answered with a positive response adding that he was also stalling the lecture but I could go ahead and read them first, so I did. I really didn’t know at that time in what mental mess I was getting into.

Having the books in my temporal possession  I started doing some previous research just to see if I started with the Hobbit or with the Fellowship of the Ring and the answer was crystal clear, the adventures of Bilbo Baggins were the first ones on my list.

I can brag a little bit about my reading speed, I think it´s a little bit faster than most of the people, but not like mutant fast like those who cross sight any page and they “read it” in about 10 seconds or less, I just read fast and when I was younger I devoured books, I liked and I still like to enjoy any story and not rushed it, taste the flavour of the book. At that time the college where I was studying went on a student’s strike and it was a mess, but while the rest of us who didn’t take the facilities struggling with the authorities, we were waiting for the classes to star over having a lot of free time, like 9 months, so I got a partial job as a barista and most of the time after work  I indulged my nerdy and geeky hobbies as well as practicing my drawing techniques, I had some time to spare and I took it really calmed and relaxed with the part time job reading daily with a cup of coffee and some smokes after work , but for the Hobbit I decided that I needed to read it under the shadow of  big tree in a park nearby my place.

Coffee, smokes and a book were ready, the weather was fine that spring afternoon when my adventure began because like I’ve told you, I wasn´t aware of the awesomeness I had in my hands which I’ve neglected and stalled it for so long, and so the reading started, and continued, and continued and kept going for hours. It was so amazing how just after the first pages I got immersed in this amazing world of fantasy that felt so real, the descriptions, the characters the environment, everything was just like being there, almost as if I was remembering an old story. What shocked me the most and no other book has ever given me are two things that I value from all the other things a masterpiece like The Hobbit can offer.

Thi first thing is the main character Bilbo Baggins, I think he´s the only character so far in my reader life that I’ve felt him as if he was or is my friend, it’s a strange feeling and I’ve heard similar experiences from some other characters but not with Bilbo, it was weird and strange you know, feeling that a fictional character is someone you know or knew and reading about him was like reading the life of a friend of mine, this closeness with a character  is one of the greatest things about this book that no other book character has ever had in me like ever.

The second greatest thing it´s strongly related to the first, after the first reading session wich I needed to end because it was getting pretty late and I had a Tabletop RPG sessions coming up later that night, I closed the book with an angst of not knowing what was going to happen, like being worried about Bilbo and his Dwarf companions. The next day the first thing I did after having some late breakfast/brunch/lunch was pouring some coffee in my thermal mug, I took my smokes and the book to the same spot at the park but this time was different, I had this feeling of knowing Bilbo and with that feeling it was a mixture of -what new adventures are WE going to have this day? and the anxious feeling to discover what's next, like really excited to live the adventures along with the characters, to be part of their lives, travel with them through Middle Earth fighting Trolls, solving Gollum’s puzzles, avoiding spiders and sneaking into the Misty Mountain. It was a hell of an adventure and the book didn't last enough for my taste, by the middle of the week I already had finished the book.

I closed the Hobbit and I had this feeling of emptiness, like –this is it? I needed more and I remember that I had three more books at home that continued the adventures in Middle Earth, but you know what? It wasn't the same. There is a huge difference between the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, don't get me wrong, both works are amazing and each has a lot of strength and influence in literary history as well as in human society, even if you don´t acknowledge it, literally changed the way to look at Fantasy breaking the concept that it was only for little kids showing the world that people from all ages could enjoy a Fantasy story.

The Lord of the Rings didn't shock me as The Hobbit did, I felt the three books like pieces of well-written Fantasy story, en epic one but for me it lacks the adventurous feeling  Bilbo brings to the story, maybe it has something to do with identifying myself with the character in a way that he wasn´t looking for an adventure and suddenly a Wizard nocked at his door changing his world and  life forever, bringing to his doorstep the most wonderful and biggest adventure of his lifetime, at some degree I wanted that, after realizing it I can tell you that I’m still waiting for this wizard to knock on my door and takes me into an adventure in a magical land and that is the power that exploded inside my head when I read The Hobbit.

But that feeling of living adventures and traveling into farway lands became kind of a constant in my life from that point on, that was my ruler to measure new stories, I would eventually found some other books and just a few have the same feeling on me, taking me to magical lands where everything is possible.

Finding a story like that is hard, not impossible, just difficult and most of the times it involves weird situations or strange coincidences that eventually will lead you to read something that you’ve never expected and that’s how I think you can have your own Unexpected Adventure just as I did with the Hobbit.

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