Compose a post in forty-five minutes at the end of the day? Is such a thing even possible anymore? The mind does wonder. The mind…
D&D. There’s a post right there. How curious to be surrounded four guys for eight hours, pretending to be a mind-reading elf.
Here’s how that looks: There’s the one I like, who is not available, has some marvelous girlfriend who supports him and is good and kind and they ski together and probably has it all figured out – I have no idea, I barely recall her name because it’s so beyond even mentioning, save that this is the place where we mention the things that aren’t worthy of mentioning but still burn bullet holes one rotation at a time into our skullcaps. He is, apparently, in training to be a doctor. He is taller than a super tall Jesus. He drinks a couple fancy beers. For fun, to smooth the edges, because that’s the sort of thing you can do when you’re a doctor to be and exhausted and D&D is a huge avenue of escape for you. He is nice enough to me and goes to gaming conventions and buys dice bags that have Tolkien runes and art from the Hobbit on them. He also plays the tin whistle and had us all sing at the table to solve a puzzle which…is something I will remember for quite a long while.
There’s the one that isn’t anything, but is also unavailable with a wife who questions all this D&D stuff and keeps him on what appears to be a shortish leash. There may or may not be a baby in some stage of being in his life. All of which is understandable by any sane metric. But when you’re in the group, and you want to play once you start for a hundred years and someone’s holding up their hand to say I’m out…that’s always a bit disappointing. He’s new to it all. He’s playing an elf. Trying to coordinate what it means to be an elf in this goofy/dark world that has no name. His character’s a weird combination of gallant and seemingly very motivated by self. He’s likes loot, but he’s trying to RP, too. My character is trying to figure out how to talk to his character, but that is developing so slowly, I may melt away first.
There’s the other one who is void-of-course. And it is only because this is my story and my world and my perspective here on my blog that I have to say…no, thank you. It’s one of those things where I am glad he is in the world, perfectly fine human being, but nothing in his presentation provokes me to care beyond that. Very anxious and soft voiced and George Costanza-esque. Maybe he’d be different if he ever got comfortable, but you get the feeling he does not ever get comfortable. He needs things a certain way and while I don’t mind, we all need things a certain way, it’s notable when you’re knee-deep in battle and his distraction distracts you. That’s it. His character and mine are sort of cohorts working together – we’re on the side of mental powers = A+++ and that’s about all my character feels about it.
Then, there’s the DM. And he is a strange one. Strange in ways that he is not strange and strange in ways he is. He seems to rent out a place to a bunch of guys, and it’s a quasi-frat house – where floors and floors of it are dedicated to D&D (we played on 3 different tables full of miniatures last time) – where he is the boss and it’s less boozy than geeky, and he’s ex-military and he’s very…intense about this system he’s built. One he’s obviously invested a fair amount of time thinking about and as I know, oh so well, about boys and their D&D systems, you can’t go halvsies on these things. But at the same time, I’m always walking on eggshells to figure out what I want to do and he’s both nice, but extremely intense about “challenging” your thinking on an idea. He’s open, but, it’s an openness that isn’t going to go anywhere he doesn’t already want it to go. Which is not to say he isn’t likeable. He is…likeable. He’s doing the work of the DM which demands some charisma and fun and that’s palatable and then the moment passes, and I dislike him tremendously, and then he’s forgettable. Waves of insight warping my impression.
We don’t say, hey, I work here and these are my other hobbies and I’ve got two sisters. No backstories for baby. So nine sessions later, every piece of information I accidentally gather feels like another layer off the onion.
We went down into the basement to review a few things pre-game, leveling and whatnot and I’m sitting there looking at him looking at me feeling like, I’m so old now, that wha the heck do I care how he feels about me? I have no idea anymore if I register physically on any level to anyone. I even ignore the gun-toting pinup art on the wall. I think it is delightfully surreal to be there, sniffling with allergies and bleeding like a woman sometimes does. We talk about palm-reading. How to make that into a mechanic for my character. I am just doing it because it seemed like he wanted me to invest in my own RP, but my explanation ends up turning oddly into a list of other options, and the list grows shorter and shorter and when I try to offer the path of least resistance, that too, is challenged. Because I’m meant to think about this for my character and not just pick the easy way out. But the hard way is time-consuming and there was something he had organized and if I can just believe I chose it on my own, we both can feel good about it.
You can sense a different sort of need from him. The need to control. To get our appreciation, to imagine, to win our enjoyment by this idea of challenge. Of risk, of pushing our characters. A woundedness that has to be defended by this big bombastic, brassy personality. Maybe I’m RP’ing a bit too much.
I’m sure we’ll be turned around on all of these guys after next session. But for now, this is enough.
I have ten other posts to write about. The doctoring. The hypothyroidism. Getting medication. And, now, about taking it. Taking it from here for the foreseeable future.