When I walk into Shot Tower Coffee just after 9 a.m. on a recent Friday, it doesn’t take me long to spot Rob. His hair is slicked to the right, just like in his photos. As I near the table where he’s sitting, he greets me with the ear-to-ear smile I’ve seen on Instagram so many times.
No, this isn’t an early weekend Tinder date, and Rob Lawless isn’t quite famous. A few nights back, we arranged this sit-down via email. When I reached out to ask if he’d be the subject of this story, he asked if I’d be the subject of a story, too. Lawless, 26, wanted me to take part in the very project I want to document: He was 14 months into a 10-year quest to make 10,000 new friends in a very 21st-century way. On this unseasonably warm January morning, I’m the 644th stranger to meet him. Read more »