Do you remember how many times you had to tell me to shut up? To be quiet? To shhhh? Do you remember the nights which you’d put me to bed as soon as the sunset and you’d tell me in your mommy-is-serious-voice, “No singing, no
talking, no getting out of bed, all right?” And you would tuck me in, kiss my brow and leave the door half shut. (Because I was afraid of the dark.) But your words never made it through my head as I lay down in the half-dark and began dreaming of things from other worlds and other places, or playing out scenes in my head of things I’d wished I’d said or had happened. I’d talk and tell a story with my hands barely seen before my face in the glow of the half open door and see magic, see ghosts, see lands–I would see stories.
I always had words. I had too many words. When I grew up to me a teen I learned the wrong words, too. I learned the hurting, the angering and the cutting words that broke a parent’s heart and scarred a fellow child for life with their cruelty and heartlessness. I learned bigger words and newer words to hand-write into a drawer full of plastic binders packed with stories that (thankfully) would never see the light. And, I had a lot of yelling words. Between us, there was a lot of crying words.
It wasn’t until I grew older that our words softened and we began to speak–if not the same words–words that pretty much meant the same. We spoke gently, with smiles on our lips and apologies in our eyes. We learned to use these words to know one another. Years later, there were no more cutting or yelling or hurting words. They were just noises meant for mother and daughter.
And then you died.
I lost my words then. I didn’t know where to find them anymore. I lost more than my words, actually, and did not think they were important in the face of losing you. At least, I didn’t think they were important until I tried to tell the wo
rld about you, about us, about the things we said and where we were and what had happened. I realized that I had lost the words when I lost you. They quietly took up their skirts and made a funeral line to the back of my head and sat. They would not move.
You were my words. You were the reason why I wrote them. Yes, I wanted the world to read them–but I wanted the world to read them and understand that my words were for you. For my mother. And I wanted you to be here to read them and love them and be proud of me. I wanted you to open a book and cry happily when you first read the words, “For my mother, for all the stories she told me and all the words we’ve shared.”
But you were gone. And so were the words.
For a very long time, at least.Now I hear them. They are buzzing quietly at the back of my head. They want me to hear them but I do nothing about them. I don’t write the things they say and I don’t capture the imagines I daydream about. What’s the point? I think. You cannot hear them.
At night, I always dream of you. You are always chiding me for something: I didn’t do something–fold the laundry, wake up in time for the bus, clean the floor right–every dream you are chiding me for not doing something and I wonder if these are your words. Your last words to me–to listen. To listen, and to write.
Seven years ago Shawn and I beta tested a little game called Everquest 2. Years before that, Shawn had beta tested a game called Everquest and said to me, “I liked it–but at the time I felt like the game and what it was trying to do was limited by technology at that time, and thought that in a couple of years it would really shine.”
Well. Then they made EQ2. And we were hooked.
When we played, we were crafters by heart. Without a group, there was very little content that could be soloed for some of the classes–Of course, I was a Templar and he a conjurer. He had better luck at it than I would, so gathering and crafting called to us much stronger. We played before there was imbuing, gems, and during the time that any crafting station–the stove, forge, engravers table and so on could kill you if you screwed up. Crafters were entirely dependent on one another too. A carpenter couldn’t make certain things without nails and metal parts. These were made by armor or weapon smiths. Nobody could make anything without the help of an Alchemist–which is what my husband was.
Then EQ II changed that. For a while there, being an alchemist was worthless. Everyone could now make all the parts they needed for themselves and no longer did they need to depend on one another. They were phasing out the being-ship-wrecked-on-an-island-everyone starting as either warrior-mage-priest thing, and it was painful for us. We stopped for a while.
Then, of course, with age? Things, in my humble opinion, got better. Yes, even moving to F2P seemed like an improvement–for even though general chat was always a lot like Barrens chat–there are still people everywhere in that game, seven years later.
And that’s how long we’ve been playing, off and on, too. Though EQ II sweetened the deal for me by handing me an entire Mistmoore Estate for my 7 year anniversary. Let me tell you, there is nothing better to bribe me into coming back, or playing a game forever, than giving me something I can decorate myself, make unique. Housing, mounts, clothing, decorations….this is the way to worm money out of me. Pay attention games! I logged in, looked at my vet rewards, squealed like I’d just been given a unicorn and ran to claim it. Now I have a huge estate with nothing in it. Now I have to run around the game trying to find the just right things I want in it. Some of it I will craft myself (being a carpenter), others I will have to level in order to get it from certain quests and or as drops from dungeons.
See what u did thar, EQ II.
And, it worked.
I think that EQ2 finally found the perfect balance for all kinds of gamers finally. Do you want to craft? Great, go for it. Do you want to craft and solo adventure? No problem, there’s a quest for that. You want to ignore crafting and power level and just get All The Things? No problem. You want to do all of this, at any given time, and just spend a day collecting shiny things to play the market? Go for it. And now–you want to design your own in game object and earn real life cash money money dollar bills from it? Yep. Do that too.
So–I’ve been having fun with my Dirge, Ssinjin, and her guild since ’04 (Queens Guard, hoooo!) exploring new regions I never got around to, quests that are fun and frustrating. Gathering shinies and resources. And it’s funny, because, I have also had my time eaten up by searching for my own home. In real life. Yes–the husbanator 2000 (That’s Shawn, or bariguy, by the way) and I have finally decided that no better time than now to take advantage of things and try for a home. It is both awesome and frightening. Wish us luck.
P.S. If you know any epic quest lines that will help us furnish it….
Let’s face it.
2012 sucked, my friends. And I’m not talking just me–oh no–I lurk on your blogs (I’m reading them right now), I visit your facebook profiles and I ogle my Google+ feed. I don’t have the brain function, time, nor elegant words to reply to everything (There are one thousand people following me on Google+. Seriously. WTF. 1000. Half of them have to be daleks, right?) But I do read. And what I have read has made me severely pissed at 2012 let me tell you. If I could, I would pull that fucking 2012 van over and there would be NO icecream. Ever.
But I can’t.
There are a lot of things in life that do not have a rewind button. They are horrible things, heart-breaking things, sad things and angry things, they are dispiriting things with a side of haunting, and sometimes, they are just hard things and depression things with a side of not-enough-money things. You can’t really go back…but you can go forward.
Listen, I’m not going to tell you all about resolutions and why you should make them and why you shouldn’t and the good or the bad of all that and blah blah blah blah–I’m just going to say: let’s go forward together.
Let’s just hope.
Even if it’s a silly thing for hope. Like, “Gosh I hope I get extra pickles on my sub today,” or, “I hope that person-I-really-like-and-fall-over-my-face-whenever-they-look-at-me smiles at me today,” or, “I hope I can afford a pack of ramen today because I am so god damn hungry I have been side eye-ballin’ my hamster.” or “I hope that I don’t hurt,” and “I hope I will be okay today.”
Hope is a deceptively easy thing to have when you look at it in little increments. Sometimes I think people get bogged down with looking at too big a picture. They look at things like: I WILL WIN THE LOTTERY AND THERE WILL BE PEACE ON EARTH AND BEARS WRESTLING WITH ELVES FIND TRUE LOVE AND MARRY THAT MOTHERFUCKER and REDO THE WHOLE HOUSE or REPAINT ALL THE STEPS or LEARN JAPANESE AND SPANISH AND CHINESE AND FRENCH CANADIAN WHILE BELLY-DANCING TO DUBSTEP and I think: whoa there, dub step? And also that maybe we set ourselves up to fall too far.
Maybe, just maybe, we should hope for the easier things. Take baby steps. Climb our way out of a horrible year and find a reason to smile in the new one.
So here’s a baby step for you, okay?
- You’re beautiful. I love your face, because it is your face and it’s facing the monitor and it’s reading my shit right now–that is so cool–
- That also makes you awesome.
- You made it through today. That’s pretty sweet.
- Some strange fat lady on the internet is virtually making you awkwardly uncomfortable hugging you into her bosoms right now, okay?
- Tomorrow, you’ll face another day and you will make it because you can.
So here’s to 2013 my loves. Here’s to us and the little things: ramen noodles and cat purrs and not succumbing to 2012.
I hope. I hope for you, for me, and for all of us.
June 10, 2017
June 2, 2017
June 1, 2017
February 19, 2015
March 14, 2009
January 2, 2011
October 2, 2008
March 24, 2012
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