Yesterday afternoon, as I browsed Reddit for mortician AMAs and stoner comics, I recalled the words of my friend Graham. Just last night, he excitedly told me about his recent and slightly-illegal adventure with HitchBro; the cross-country traveling redditor. According to the internet, HitchBro (Seth, IRL) was still hanging out in Pittsburgh and likely looking for sustenance, companionship and a nice couch to sleep on.
“OH MY GOD,” I thought, “I HAVE ALL OF THOSE THINGS!”. Without hesitation, I shot him a text inviting him to my office for a drink and conversation. Upon receipt of my text, I immediately got a call from him. The outright joy in the tone of his voice was a great indicator of the hours to come. I knew from the get-go that Seth (aka Dudebro and Dudemanbro) was relying entirely on the kindness of strangers for all of his vital necessities. This included, but was not limited to: friendly conversation, tourist information, someone to tell stories to, pizza, hygiene, etc.
No one should ever agree to house a traveler if they are not prepared to be slightly inconvenienced, which I am hardly ever prepared for. I’ve been lucky enough to live pretty comfortably the last several months. Honestly, a little too comfortably. I miss being out of my comfort zone. So when HitchBro reluctantly asked if I knew of a place he could crash for the night (while repeatedly assuring me it was okay if I could not), I happily offered my couch without hesitation!
Anyone who is willing to brave blind uncertainty for months at a time just to see the world is a good guy in my book. Upon out meeting, I grabbed cigarettes for us both — he prefers Marlboro Smooths because he’s classy. We hopped on the bus and made it to “Pittsburgh’s Little Italy” – Bloomfield – and arrived safely at my house.
Unfortunately I had a lot of cleaning to do in my room due to potential renters visiting the next day, so I felt bad telling HitchBro that I had to leave him alone for awhile. He didn’t care. All he needed was my wifi password and a stoop to sit on, which were both easily accessible.
I’m happy to say that I wasn’t inconvenienced by HitchBro in the slightest. He actually bought me a beer and shared lots of interesting stories and insights with me. I honestly feel like I got more out of the experience than he did! I got to dish about some Pittsburgh quirks and history, which I don’t get to do much these days without traveling myself.
I had plans to go to see some friends’ bands play down the street after we got some kickin’ buffalo chicken pizza, but HitchBro was feeling understandably exhausted and the bar scene was not his first choice for hangouts. I made sure he had everything he needed (directions to the bathroom, glass of water, cigarette lighter) before I departed to the bar by myself. I was only gone for about an hour, in which he grabbed a shower. I felt really bad because I didn’t have any towels for him but he managed to MacGyver it somehow.
In the spirit of sleepovers, I invited another friend back to my house after the show and we chilled with Dudebro – sorry, HITCHbro, I keep forgetting – for another hour or so before heading to bed. We were all equally exhausted. I left for work at about 8:30 this morning and my friend was conveniently headed in the same direction as Seth was to catch his Megabus, so I was able to leave my house knowing Dudemanbro would be safe and secure.
Housing a worldly (or east-coastly) traveler isn’t a daunting task unless you make it one. People often talk about their faith in humanity needing restoration, but it takes generosity and cooperation on both ends to work.
So please, take a chance on HitchBro if you get the chance. AND GODSPEED TO YOU, DUDE!