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  • I had just graduated high school. Well, technically I hadn’t graduated. I’d finished a semester early but had to go back for graduation at the end of the school year. I spent what would’ve been my last semester of high school in Northern Italy, studying. There I met a young man, a few years older than myself who lived across the hall from where my room was and he was also studying. His name was Kevin, which provided for some conversation, being that my name is also Kevin. I’d pass him going out for the night and he’d say, “Hey, Kevin.” And I’d always reply, “Hey, Kevin.” It really was the extent of our conversation.

    So the school year had ended, I went back for the graduation and then worked that summer stocking shelves at a grocery store. That September, of 2009, I went out to Wyoming for a hiking trip in the Southern Wind River range. During the few days spent in the lodging prior to setting out, I met a young man, a few years older than myself. We got to talking, for whatever reason, and I learned that his name was also Kevin.

    Meeting people with my same name was not uncommon. Apparently, from the late eighties to the early nineties, it was fashionable to give your son this name; there were four of us on my middle school cross-country team of twelve.

    Anyway, after fifteen days in the backcountry of Wyoming, I came back to my lodging in town and there was Kevin as well. So we talked that night to learn a bit about each other. I discovered that Kevin was from the Seattle area. And this is where I lose any sense of structure in this life. There is only Timeline.

    “I lived across the hall from a guy named Kevin in Northern Italy, and his name was Kevin, and he was from the Seattle area.” And Kevin replied, “What’s his last name?” This world is small, but not that small. “Kevin Elliot.”

    “Kevin James Elliot!”

    “Yes!”

    It turns out they went to school together.

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