I spent almost my entire summer in Indianapolis, which probably sounds pretty terrible to those of you who have never been here/who have only talked to people from the Indy-area suburbs. People who know me know that I burst at the seams with pride and love for this city, and I’m not the only one. And while I would argue that the Crossroads of America is the greatest place to call home, I hope that others feel the same way about their respective motherlands. I may not have moved any mountains this summer, but every once in a while the people of Indianapolis moved me.
Dear little boy who helped me carry the bench outside of Nicey,
I’ve lugged that bench made of popsicle sticks approximately 80 times in and out of the shop. You’re not the first person to offer help; you’re the first person to give help without saying a word. And you are definitely the youngest. I was awestruck by your quiet 8-year-old self. Thank you for showing chivalry and maturity beyond your years and setting the bar high for Hoosier youngsters.
Dear cheery woman on the Monon,
I think maybe a pipe burst in hell and some of the heat leaked into Indianapolis somehow, because running on Friday, July 17th nearly broiled me. At the tail end of my run I yanked out my earphones and began walking right as you were coming the other way, kind woman. Right as I was about to surrender to the sun and join the rotting leaves on the Monon’s edge, a smile ripped across your face and you told me “Good job! Keep it up!” Can I run into you at Raynor Library during finals week sometime?? God love you.
Dear Homespun worker,
You made a frustrating trip downtown worth it. I’ve never had a more enriching conversation about coffee shops. I’m sorry I forgot to tell you that Perk Up closes at 2:00 pm on weekdays and I really hope you didn’t try to check it out after your shift! But anyways, you were so friendly even though I was so sweaty. I’ll shower before coming into your shop next time.
Dear guy in the Cubs hat perpetually on the Monon,
God bless America, your dog is cute. I don’t know you and you don’t know me but I sure do want to know your dog. I’ve run past you enough times to notice that your Cubs hat seems to be glued to your head and for you to probably notice that I only own Marquette t-shirts. My biggest regret in life might be the time I was playing “Bad Blood” too loud in my headphones when you said something to me as I jogged by. I will never know what you said (probably, “You’re breathing doesn’t sound good you should probably stop.”) but I appreciate you recognizing our Monon friendship. I look forward to seeing your dog again when I’m back over fall break.
Dear Jamie and John,
You guys reinforce my love for Australians. Every time you walked into Nicey to buy passion fruit or banana cream pops I knew it was me who was in for a treat. If all customers were as sweet and caring as you, I would quit school and sell popsicles for the rest of my life. Thank you for being concerned about my eye health and for teaching your sweet little Rosie to smile so big.
Dear high school friend,
Thank you for seeking me out when you saw me at Target. It’s easy to pretend to not see people you know or duck into aisles because, well, sometimes conversation isn’t on the shopping list. But that was a particularly frustrating rainy day and shopping for back to school is bittersweet. (Bitter because it costs cash money and it’s hard to say buhbye to home. Sweet because Teddy Grahams. Lots and lots of Teddy Grahams.) Thank you for approaching me and saying hi and putting a smile on my face.
Dear South Bend Chocolate Company worker,
The day I stopped by the chocolate shop, I was downtown for a meeting with a professional working person. Said professional forgot about our meeting and arrived late, but showed me the place in which she worked. While a valuable opportunity, it was too sleek and grown-up and a lot of people looked like robots. The whole encounter intensified my Peter Pan complex so to remind myself of what’s important in life I nearly sprinted to South Bend Chocolate Company afterwards. Not only did you encourage me to buy the whole store, but you also treated me like the kid in a candy shop that I still am. Upon returning home, I noticed you didn’t charge me for some of the chocolate covered almonds and actually snuck a few extra chocolates in my bag on top of that. Thank you for providing me with a nostalgic, chocolate-covered exhale moment. I promise I’ll come back to try the hot chocolate sometime.
Dear elderly man,
I saw you cross the street and bring in your neighbor’s trashcan before retrieving your own. You won’t see this thank you, but I want everyone reading this to know that kind people like you exist.
Dear all 852,866 of you (and counting),
People say home is where the heart is, and I think my heart set up a pretty permanent camp at 39.7° N, 86.1° W. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing new places and exploring different cities and meeting new people. And as my worldview expands, so does my appreciation for the Circle City and the people in it. Here’s to you, Naptown.