Sunday, June 26, 2011

Home is (Not) Where the Heart Is

Boy oh boy, where to start. I feel like I haven't done this in a long time.

This weekend was my second annual attendance at JAFAX, a free, grassroots based anime con run on the campus of Grand Valley State University that attracts several thousand nerds alike.

I am now sad.

Don't get me wrong; JAFAX 16 was a total, absolute blast. I love anime cons; taking in the atmosphere, seeing all the cosplays, the sense of family and comraderie among everyone. Laughing at crappy anime with people. The anime dating game this year was incredibly amazingly hilarious. Anime name that tune was fun. It was all great! I even got my picture taken 5 times (I was cosplaying as Naota Nandaba from FLCL).

So, why am I sad?

Friday, I left work at 11:30 AM to go to a concert north of here. Eve 6 was there, as well as three bands I had never heard of; Coldville, Push, and Deadwood Stone. I had a blast!

Then, Saturday and Sunday, JAFAX all day.

No time to worry about work. About life. About things. Mostly.

But the drive home? A trainwreck. Or a car crash.

I think my post awesome event depression is as close as I, as a male, can get to Post-Partum Depression. Anytime I am away from everything, I get sad when I have to return. The 1 hour car ride home stretched on for what felt like days, and at the same time, flew by in seconds, as I ruminated.

You see, anime cons, as much as I love them, are difficult for me, because I don't go with anyone and never will. And I don't hang out with anyone, and never will (I have no IRL friends). I love the crap out of them, but after pretending to be on my cell phone while at JAFAX for the 6th time or so, I realized that looking like you're alone is pretty much worse than being alone! Alas.

But JAFAX, Youmacon, PAX (video game con) were/are all great. I made the mistake of making friends way back in elementary school and junior high that would have trashed me and eaten me alive if they knew the extent of my nerdiness. These friends followed me into high school before I eventually cut all ties. Even my family, as much as they love and accept me, have a hard time not considering anime fandom weird and... childish. So these cons are a chance for me to be myself. To get away from work and responsiblity and be in an arena that is condusive to acceptance and friendship. And while this is 0 for 3 for me on introducing myself and making new friends, I can't help but feel like these moments are amazing. Like everything can be beautiful, and I can't take it.

I am 22 years old. In just a few years, I will be way at the top of the age bracket for these things. It's just a fact of life. I won't be the cool college age kid anymore, I'll be the sort of weird older 20s guy who finds a seat closest to the exit where nobody else is sitting and tried to act inconspicuous.

I don't want to get old. I can't imagine it. Ten years from now, I'll be even uglier, more out of shape, and have ten more years of solitude and failure under my belt. I want to die young. I feel like I am sitting on a bubble, and I throw all of my shit in that bubble, and it works, sometimes. But one day it is going to pop and cover me in all the shit I can think up.

It is Sunday night before work. JAFAX is gone for a year. Laughter that I experienced there won't be had for a long time. The memories will eventualy fade, like tears in rain. I won't cosplay again for a long time, because Youmacon is looking less and less likely as expenses pile up. Maybe it's for the best.

I had this post all drawn up on the way back home from JAFAX, and it sounded a lot cooler and more heartfelt and poetic then. Now, it is a mere shadow of its former self, lacking both the detail and the interesting factor that it could have.

Kind of like me.

I am sad.

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