Deeper in Debt

Another year on and one more closer to about halfway through, if you live with that sort of temporal consciousness, which I do. I can’t really believe it. Just yesterday I was a dreamy-minded tot wandering the aisles of Toys R Us, trying to find that elusive Blue Snaggletooth Star Wars figure. My grandmother sure did a great job of catering to my fantastic whims, and I walked out with the AD&D Monster Manual instead. Now, I’m a dreamy-minded sub-adult with the emotional aptitude of a tot and the humor to match. It was probably all the hot monster chicks in that wonderful, awe-inspiring book.

I never thought I’d be here, where I am now, doing the things that I’m doing. I suppose very few of us ever really do. But I’m really damned stubborn, as any of my friends (and enemies) will tell you, and through all these years gone by, getting here has all been a matter of repeatedly saying that I wanted and needed to do this. And I cannot live with the idea of not following through on the things I promise to do, for me or anyone else. Of course there are thank-you cards unwritten within the desk and borrowed CDs forgotten in a storage unit box somewhere in Novato. But the big promises are very, very important to me. And who uses CDs anymore, besides? (Though I may never forgive myself for not yet organizing my digital photo collection into the Perfect Taxonomy for the Ages, which I promised to myself many years ago, and the pictures keep getting added.)

The number-one reason that I want to be a man of my word (dreamy-minded or not) is because of the amazing people whom I know. I want to make good on the things that I promise because I feel gifted beyond belief to be accepted, tolerated, respected, liked, empathized with, smirked at, appreciated, or included by so many of the world’s most beautiful people. How did this happen? I’m self-focused a lot of the time, and I’m insecure all of the time. My heart is in two places and I can’t always decide which idiom to use with all of the switching continents this past decade. I forget to tell many whom I love that I love them, instead telling them what I love. I forget to do the dishes sometimes, even though I (near-horrifically) adore doing them. But I want to give back all of the time. I want to contribute.

I’m now far away from all of the building that has gone on since 1995, when I landed, butter-side up, into my first career that was founded the glorious moment that Monster Manual was opened. I feel so distant from the place behind the counter where everybody knew my name after so many years of making our clubhouse a place where everybody knows your name. Occasionally I get to catch a fleeting glimpse of them on the other side of the camera when we take care of business via conferencing, and it always warms the bones of me. Yet it was the right time to move, and move forward, and I still feel that way through the pangs and warm memories.

This year’s birthday, this year’s Beltane, waaaay over here in the land of heather and larch once again furnished me with the incontestable reminder that I have everything one could want and more – once again, waaaay over here. Friends gathered for food and laughs, friends treated to care and curry, a million friends used technology to bridge the gap, even just for a thought, just for a moment. My cygnine selkie and I walked amongst standing stones and were inspected by a line of horses when we got too close to the center, and some people say that magic doesn’t really exist. I know that it does, even in this age of technological wizardry and digital dungeons. You’ve shown me that it does.

The academy of learning, that white tower besieged by seething, draconian intellects, used to intimidate me. But the games that are undertaken here are merely child’s play compared to the epic adventures we’ve traversed so far in real life, and we’re only halfway through, if you live with that sort of temporal consciousness, and I do. The tables that we’ve built along the way on both sides of the world – the ones on which we’ve played, conspired, argued, eaten, arm-wrestled, and made passionate, monster-chick love in a fantasy world nearly as magical as our own – are also the ones at which I’ve learned how to contribute. I won’t forget that, even if it feels that I sometimes do.

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