Mischronolocology: The study of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I've noticed for years how seemingly trivial events in my everyday life can actually have very life-altering consequences. Simple little things: taking a different route home one day; going out for pizza one evening instead of having it delivered, or conversely, having pizza delivered instead of going out for it. These little decisions I make every day, with hardly a thought as to what unexpected hand fate will deal me as a result.
Have you ever had something happen, and afterwards you think to yourself, "Gee, if only I had done X, things would have turned out different". That's what I'm talking about. Like in the movie Run Lola Run or Groundhog Day. It's frustrating, because you don't know what sort of consequences these trivial little choices you make are going to have, and by Goddess it's insane to start letting The Worst Possible Thing That Will Happen control your decisions of whether or not you should try to see the movie Dances With Wolves or something, right?
Right. Therefore, I must be completely mad.
Nice day for it.
A long, long time ago (well, actually I think the year was 1985, but it seems like a long time ago...), back when I lived in Dobbs Ferry, NY and still called BBSs under the handle Unicorn, I was in a flamewar with someone who went by the handle Mr. Spock. Mr. Spock lived in Hastings-on-Hudson, the town just to the south of me.
Completely unrelated to this, a good friend of mine named Bill also lived in Hastings-on-Hudson. I had met Bill when I was attending Rye High School in ninth grade. (I actually had met Bill at the end of my eighth grade year, when I was visting Rye to see where I'd be going to school the next year...)
"So, you're coming here next year?" Bill asked when we first met.
"Yeah," I said.
"Oh," he said, "You're gonna hate it here."
And we were best friends ever since.
This is all background material so you, Gentle Noder, will have an idea of who these people are and how this all comes together later.
One night in 1985, Bill and I are hanging out together at his place and head down into the village of Hastings and pick up a pizza. Just another one of those decisions that you really don't think about until later on. You think, "Hey, I could've had them deliver the pizza" or "Hey, I could've gotten some Chinese takeout instead". But no, it had to be pizza and since it was a nice enough night out, we went and picked it up ourselves. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Anyway, Bill and I were on our way back with our pizza when we ran into a rather unpleasant someone (herein referred to as "Mr. Nasty") who didn't like Bill. Mr. Nasty didn't like Bill, but apparently didn't know Bill well enough because he started asking Bill what his name was. And when Bill wouldn't answer, Mr. Nasty decided to direct his attention toward me. And when I wouldn't answer, Mr. Nasty got pissed off and grabbed me.
That's not a Good Thing, because I can't fight. Nope. Never learned how. So I haven't been in a single fight where I could say I didn't get my ass kicked.
But I tried anyway.
"GET your FUCKING hands OFF me!", I yelled, shoving Mr. Nasty away.
And then, not knowing what else to do, I punched Mr. Nasty in the face. All I remember after that is me getting my ass kicked. Ohwell.
A day or so after Mr. Nasty beat me up, I got an email from Mr. Spock asking for a ceasefire in the flamewar. Apparently Mr. Nasty had been bragging about beating me up in school the next day, Mr. Spock heard about it and somehow put two and two together. Mr. Spock didn't like Mr. Nasty either, so the offer to pool resources against a common enemy was appealing.
So Mr. Spock and I became friends. He invited me to a retreat in New Jersey for a weekend, where I met my girlfriend, Jen (this was back in those days when I was doing wild and crazy things like having a girlfriend).
Jen and I broke up eventually, but stayed in touch. She introduced me to Kurt, who was living up in Danbury and doing a zine called The Sun and The Moon back then. I was doing a zine called The Grumbling Yak, so we eventually became good friends and sent each other weird things in the mail.
Kurt introduced me to Jake, who also lived in Danbury. Jake and I began seeing each other and, to make a long story short, moved to Maryland in November of 1994. Jake was the one who introduced me to FurryMUCK, and it was at a furry party up in Albany (pre-AnthroCon) that I met my current boyfriend.
And to think, if I hadn't gone out to get pizza with Bill that evening in 1985, none of this would've happened. Mr. Spock and I would've kept flaming each other, I wouldn't have met Jen, I wouldn't have met Kurt, I wouldn't have met Jake, I wouldn't have met my current boyfriend, and I wouldn't be living in Maryland today.
I've tried to think of what my life would be like if things had been different, and the most likely scenario I can come up with is that I'd still be living in the basement of my grandmother's house and going out for pizza all the time.