When I was 156 months old, I was ignorant and delighted to be so. When I turned 157 months old, my family moved to a tiny and disturbing land where the money-minded natives used lacrosse sticks for everything. Working, eating, knitting, fornicating (ouch). Everything.
This strange place was called Connecticut, which means “hedge fund of loneliness” in Algonquian. Much like the winters there, I became sullen and dark. My sole refuge was the local library where I hid from everyone. It was easy to do. The place didn’t sell anything, so no one went there.
That’s where I found The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and my life was saved. The story is full of great and awful beings, but I became fast friends with Frodo. He too was a diminutive creature who saw ignorance as a blessing. Then he was sent to a cursed land on a doomed mission. Frodo got me through that first summer. He made all the difference in the world. While I was still frequently angry and sometimes lonely, I now had allies. Thousands of them. All waiting for me to read their stories.
Tengo Leche, Social Anxiety Scholar