By Lizzy Asarnow

 

Let’s face it. Waldo isn’t really into America. Although he transcends time and space – the villages of Egypt, the raucous festivals of the Middle Ages  – We rarely see him here. Maybe he was turned off by the consumer culture. After all, he only carries a small knapsack with him. Or maybe he was bored by our pseudo-stability. Why sit around and talk about problems when you can go back to the time of Napoleon and experience the throes of war?

Regardless, Waldo was disappointed to get a letter from his great aunt Winnie. The postcard, short and sweet, said it was her ninetieth birthday (although Waldo had probably lost track) and that her celebration was on Sunday, at two, in her backyard.

The front of the postcard read “Greetings from Seattle!” in a party-style font, sprawled across a picture of the Space Needle. “Geez,” complained Waldo, “this is almost as bad as breaking my glasses and losing my hat. I was planning to disguise myself in a small Swiss village on Sunday. And it was going to be extremely frustrating to find me this time! But I must.” So he did.

The plane ride from Fiji to Seattle was long and confusing. Waldo searched for countless places to disguise himself, but the flight attendants insisted he remain in his seat. Beads of sweat formed across Waldo’s face as the plane steadily landed, and he bolted out the first chance he got. Waldo found himself in a Starbucks. Surprisingly, he had already disguised himself without even trying. Everywhere he looked he saw people in bobble hats and large glasses wearing stripes and knapsacks.

“Is this a dream?” thought Waldo, “I don’t even have to try to disguise myself. And I’ve just been trying so hard all my life. What are these people?” So Waldo looked right into the large-glasses-wearing eyes of the barista, and said, “These people…all the ones wearing stripes and knapsacks…what do you call them?” A faint smile passed across the barista’s glazed face. “Um, hipsters. I guess. I don’t know, it’s sort of an obscure concept. You probably wouldn’t understand it.” But Waldo didn’t need to understand. He had found his ultimate disguise.

If he blended in with everyone everyday, the challenge would never cease. He would never have to skip town after someone had uncovered his disguise. The next time someone asked, “So, where’s Waldo?” the response would be, “I don’t know, but I’m still looking.”

Waldo picked up his coffee from the counter and walked over to the door. He took a deep breath and pushed it open. A single tear dropped from Waldo’s eye. Immersed in a sea of bobble hats and glasses, Waldo found a certain long sought-after peace. “Seattle,” thought Waldo, “Let me call thee home.”

 

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