I did a search for other people from Hagerstown that had LiveJournal accounts, just to see what I’ve gotten myself into. My first impression after looking at the first page of userpics dug up by my search: Lots of anime fans in Hagerstown. Who would have thought? Then again, why should we be free from pretentious teenagers? It just wouldn’t be an American town without them.
Then there’s this guy:
Does he watch Doctor Who? I bet he does. And that’s not all. He’s a decorated Dungeon Master, proud owner of the White Wolf library entire, and he can draw you a detailed floor-plan of Atomic Comics – from memory. Just a guess. Here’s another one: this dude has a girlfriend. She weighs more than he does and her hair is longer, too. If they get married, she’ll wear a black dress, and so might he. They’ll give their kids names like Tobin and Morgana, and take trips every year on their anniversary to Dexcon, whatever the fuck that is.
I read this dude’s blog, and the sad part is he can’t even write about his sick mother without trying to sound like a hokey reject from The Hobbit. I don’t know him personally, but some years ago I spent two terrifying days in his universe. An ex-girlfriend of mine was something of a gamer, and we spent a weekend with some friends of hers in Norfolk, Virginia. They were nice people. They had lots of cats. In conversations, they employed words like “smite” and “primogeniture” the way I used “like” and “or.” They both worked in computers somehow, and they had a big, beautiful house. To look at them, you’d think they were ordinary enough people. But, I don’t think we had a single thing to talk about.
The second day, the four of us went to the local mall to meet another friend of theirs. This dude and Larpwriter up there could have been brothers. He had a goatee and long brown hair. No big deal – I, like Johnny Cash, have no problem with the long-haired element. His thumbnails had been clipped into sharp claws. He spoke in odd, contrived sentences that began with words like “indeed,” and sounded like one of the nervous, brainy members of the Power Rangers. He talked a lot about things that had not actually occurred in the material world.
Sure, these people seem a little unusual. Yes, they’re responsible for the avalanche of shitty anime and manga that floods cable TV and book stores; they’re the reason hokum like Lord of the Rings made a gazillion dollars at the box office and won Oscars over films like Lost in Translation; they’re why a game titled Final Fantasy can have twenty-eight fucking sequels. But, from what I’m told, a lot of them also like The Simpsons. Even in the face of our innumerable differences, there are connections to be made. Larpie up there and his ilk, they’re people, too. Scary, scary people.