Tuesday, July 3, 2012

After the Convention, What Came To Pass

Years ago, before the death of our oldest dog, a hurricane hit our city. During the hurricane, our dog had a stroke. He was already old and infirm and his behavior was only very slightly changed. After the storm, beneath a yellow sky, we talked about how fortunate we were that the damage had been minor. We didn't know at the time about the stroke. Following on, we lost both our oldest and next oldest dog--one to age, one to cancer. I lost my job and steadfastly remained unemployed. I quit my writer's groups, one after another. I developed a manageable illness that I refused to manage. We found our two youngest dogs, but their experience of us is not the same. At some point, I entered my fourth decade and shifted demographics, with all the confusion and rejection that implies. As surely as Dante did, I slipped beneath the sign and abandoned hope. It was in this state that I came to the most recent Apollocon, a state in which each thunderstorm and loss of power seemed like imps reawakening and trying to tear us from our minor shelter. There was nothing of the writer I had been or the belief that I could become one. I had tried and failed. Or, more accurately, I had thought about trying, shrugged the effort off as not worth it, and pretended to be normal. Same as it ever was. While my spouse looked forward to the Con, I dreaded it. Awkward encounters with favorite writers, irritation with meandering panels, and my spouse fuming at my (admittedly rotten) attitude. What we encountered instead was a Con that seemed subtly time-slipped away from us--panels we wanted to attend scheduled when we couldn't make them, lunches that lasted just a hair too long, dealer's rooms that were more enticing because they seemed to be livelier than the halls outside. Hobbit panels that failed to mention The Tolkien Professor (really?!!). Okay, my Tolkien obsession does overwhelm my podcast subscriptions. We never fully synched with the Con, although we did bring home several new books and a greater appreciation for Tanya Huff. Afterward...well, things are still a little out of synch. The washing machine is broken and the people responsible for fixing it are unreachable. Not being able to wash is adding to the general disorder. Last night, my spouse reminded me that entropy is the desire of the universe, random and dissoluble particles spread over as much distance as the energy available to create them and fling them outward. I don't feel flung outward. I feel like the energy is gone and the dust is sifting from me as I type. What came to pass is that we returned to the house, which grows less orderly with each day and we wait. For entropy to fizz away the care as well as the washing machine. For another storm to clear the imps from our attic. How can we know upon what we wait...or for whom?

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