It was supposed to be a semi normal day Friday, despite the holiday. After trips back and forth to LA, SD, and Bakersfield.. I thought the 4th was going to be relatively quiet. Things with the roommate skyrocketed into horrific. I was so ready to go to work already, but not wanting to deal with any drama.
No one wanted to be at work. It was extremely laid back, and for once.. everyone got along. My plans for the night afterward were initially to take refuge with a notebook and ride to some patch of grass.. look up at the stars and have some solace. It sounds a bit emo, but I can assure you, its not meant to sound it completely. I just have a lot on my mind sometimes and tend to disappear off the radar momentarily.
Thankfully, I have some amazing friends that are able to catch me before I completely become a blip. Family didn’t call. Friends did though.
“I’m not going to let you spend it alone. Let’s do what we can to figure out how to get you here, or I’ll grab you later anyway.”
Worth the drive. It means so much to me. Multiple friends.
I wasn’t supposed to get out early enough to go, but that changed. I was cleared from my boss and made the mad dash to get home and change. We left later than we’d intended. The traffic clogged up a bit as we neared our destination.
“And that is why everyone in LA should have a thing of bubbles in their car.. because you never know.. and what a fun way to pass the time…”
We were headed to the ocean.. my place of zen. Friends (nerds), ribs, booze, chatter, movies, video games… awesome.
“Are we going to actually go in the water or should I not even bother with my swimsuit?”
“I’m not sure but you can bring it if you want to.. it’s really up to you..”
It was among one of the first things packed.
“I already had it packed anyway from San Diego.. he wanted to hit the jacuzzi when I was there.”
My friend just smiled.
As it got closer to the fireworks, the convoy of us headed towards the beach. Dan was the fearless leader, with a tripod nearly as big as me pushed over one arm, and a backpack nearly as heavy.
I could smell the ocean and someone smoking djarums. Blew bubbles and skipped. A stranger gave me a black and I lit up. Ah, escape.. escape. And we weren’t even there yet.
The ocean called to me. It took me all of 20 minutes before curiousity got the best of me… I pulled Steve and Dan with me.
“I just want to find out how cold it is..”
Until sunset, I was in the water. The beach truck rolled in and everyone got out. We made robot firetruck boobs in the sand, and headed back towards the rest of the group. Fireworks from all over. Malibu, Santa Monica, Marina Del Ray..
“Over there is where all the rich people are.. all on their roofs, laughing at all us broke people with our crappy public displays…”
I’ve lived in California for nearly a decade. This was my first fourth on the beach… and there’s only one thing that was missing. Yet, I would look at the sky and dream… we are looking up at the same sky, even if we’re in different cities.. living our parallel lives… not knowing what the future will bring.. fate? One could only hope.
The moment is broken by pings. I put it on the back burner. It’s not time right now.. and who knows if it ever will be. A friend texts me last minute.
“Would you like to come out and cover the anime expo with me tmorrow for TechZulu?”
The future.. goes back to my roots. I’m going to be up all night in proactive mood. Ah the workaholic in me…
“Get some sleep so your eyes aren’t puffy tomorrow, and we’ll talk more”
Excitement. So many reasons. Doors opening… building blocks on relationships.. personal, professional.. friendships… steps forward.. steps back.. new experiences… more…
We packed up the rest of our things and headed back to Trina and Matt’s. Matt made this concotion affectionately called “the ritz.”
“Dare I even ask what’s in this or just drink it?”
We walked down memory lane a little bit. Matt showed us some of his stuff from film school. We talked about nerdy silly things. Played some Scene it… which, I might add, when playing with 2 film school graduates, is a bit.. intimidating to say the least.
Knowing that the day had to start early, we headed back for me to couch surf once again. My friends.. so very gracious to open their homes to me.
Awoke early to prepare for the long day ahead. A shower to wash away the sea. Singing “You Don’t Own Me..” Not a care in the world.
We went to the store for sustenence. I was thinking about making some seafood omlets.. still focused on those moments of zen yesterday. But opted instead for a breakfast burrito. Accompanied, of course, by some chai.
I put on some jazz and cooked. Sang and danced around.
“He hasn’t let me cook for him yet. One of these days though.. perhaps when we both have the time..”
And then the expo itself. Everything was a rush. My friend Trina of Gaming Angels ended up bringing me. It was my first anime con, and I was a bit nervous for no reason. I’ve always wanted to dress up and go to one, but hadn’t yet. And now I was going as press.
Finding Marc was crazy in itself. The con was massive. Rush was the norm though. Newsworthy.
I was fortunate enough to meet up with the folks from Girl Gamer. They are such great people. It’s funny in a way how small of a world it is. It seemed that all of us knew eachother before the meeting. Paralell constants.
I knew a few others that had mentioned that they were going to be there.. just barely missed on a friend who dressed as Jack Sparrow. The gaming journalist convoy… in addition to us, was also Coin-Op Tv, All Games, and if I’ve missed someone, I apologize. Let me know if you were there and I missed the link, I’ll gladly add it.
My day, however was dominated primarily with awesomes Girl Gamer and Marc of TechZulu.
The day was a complete success. Not for the fact that everything went as perfectly as planned, because with these things, it rarely ever does, which is half the thrill of it.. but because I firmly believe in the strength of the connections that were made there. It is one of my loves of the advent of social media. We have small worlds, but when we share passions.. I look forward to seeing how things go for everyone. Where their paths take them. I wish them good luck in their journeys… parallel.
There were smiles all around that day. It was an experience I am forever thankful to have had.
Pulled from place to place…
Finding out about why people put so much devotion into the things they enjoy.
“Are you ok with all of this? This adventure?” Marc said.
and I turned to him and said..
“Are you kidding? This is what I live for…”
Living at the edge of life.
[And now to shower, get dim sum, and some more beach time before going back to hipster jesusville.. Pictures soon to come, and sidebar links updated later]