Even if Jenny hadn't done a stupendous job of writing up the whole weekend, I wouldn't try to give you the whole story or keep things in chronological order. I did that once and it damn near broke my brain. So instead I give you random snippets. Mysterious. Isolated. Unforgettable.
Somewhere on the Connecticut seaboard, in the passenger seat. Christa hands me her sunglasses and I put them on. She's right; a giant black bar is revealed, slanting across half the sky. I twist my head and it seems to end where a jet trail begins. But that still doesn't tell us what it is.
The three of us, in the diner booth with the mini jukebox. Singing and singing. Loud. Everyone can hear us, no one tells us to shut up. Secretly, I think they like us.
More singing, in the living room, on the couches. Damn, Murray can really play. And Mike can wail like Robert Plant and he knows all the words too. This went on for hours.
This must needs be said. If you take a first person shooter and turn it into a board game it is NO LONGER FIRST PERSON. Hence it's just a dude in a maze and you might as well be playing AD & D which at least has a long proud history of not getting people laid. How the fuck is this appealing? For campouts or blackouts? Or for the unimaginative who don't know how to laugh?
Monopoly. Now, I don't think anyone knows this, but this corporation bullshit actually really pissed me off. You can't change the rules in the middle of the game like that, to say nothing of changing the objective. (Sharing the win? What is this, communism?) I almost ruined the vibe with my scowling. Only the next day did I realize I had the perfect Walter opportunity to break the tension by standing up and screaming, "AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO CARES ABOUT THE RULES?!?" Instead I went bankrupt ASAP and curled up in my sleeping bag early. Usually I can't fall asleep if there's any noise at all. I must have been dead tired.
Wandering through the dark. Sharks and manta rays and frogs. Why did I almost turn this down? Too much of my life is the same sights every day. Too many of these beautiful, scary creatures I'll never see again.
If a bunch of noders are conversing IRL, and there's an awkward pause, and one of them says "and all is quiet...", is that funny, or sad, or both? What if the awkward pause just continues?
Andy hears me say I'm level 2 and tussles my hair, calling me newbie. Truly, it's a shame I didn't join back when the standards were so low that you could get ching power by NFN. Thanks, man (and I do know you were just fucking with me), but I'd rather be proud of my work than have a homenode pic.
Jess: So, where in New Hampshire are you from?
Jess: Oh! My cousin lives there. Do you know the R________s?
Me: Lisa R ________?
Jess: Yeah! She's my cousin! You went to high school with her?
Me: Lisa R ________ ruined my fucking life! She left her turn signal on so I pulled out in front of her and failed the driving test so I couldn't get my license and I couldn't ask this other girl out and by the time I could two months later she was going out with this other dude!
Andy: Wait. So this girl, was, like, the love of your life?
Me: It was serious, yeah. First time I ever felt that strongly about someone. I later found out she wanted me too.
Jess: (laughing so hard she has to leave the room)
We, as a group, cannot be fucked with. We'll stick this pen in ya. We are rock stars, you know. We do have secret identities. We can, in fact, define our reality.
When I'm at a gathering, both the front and back of my brain are running full speed. Constantly receiving, continuously retrieving. It's simultaneously exhausting and energizing, and no one can get enough. Whether we're going toward or away or nowhere, it's an aura that surrounds us and reminds us of the greater good.
And I can't put it into words in person, and I doubt I ever could. I can't just go up to you and give you the hardest longest platonic hug you ever had, and whisper, "Goddamit, I fucking love you. Never change. And by that I mean keep changing the way you always have and always will." I can't do that. But if I did, I know you'd accept me the way you already do.
Thank you, all of you. You've taught me generosity, and patience, and friendship. I can't ever fully repay you. But I'll keep trying. I'll see you.