At the start of my freshman year at Syracuse University my brand new roommate, who I had just barely met, walked up to me in our dorm room. Standing much too close for my comfort, with one eyebrow raised, he fixed his eyes on me with a penetrating stare as if sizing me up for some important mission.
We stood there for an awkward moment while I also sized him up, wondering if I had been paired with a total nutcase as my first college roommate.
Then he slowly took his hands out from behind his back, held up a small paperback book with a pink cover and, with that single eyebrow still raised and unblinking eyes, in a hushed, conspiratorial tone he said, “You have to read this.”
Clearly I was being initiated into some secret society. This book was the key that would open me to a new world… a world that had been unavailable to me in the conservative, Boston suburb I had just left.