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Sydney posed the question "if life isn't a rehearsal, this is all there is... and if it's a rehearsal, who do you want to be when the curtain rises?", which inspired me to answer thusly (I probably should have answered in the future-past-tense, but this is what came out)[1]:

I want to be someone
with friends
who will look me in the eye
while I look into theirs,
and lean on me
as I lean on them,
who will stay with me
as I stay with them,
who will find joy
in being together.

I'd been thinking a lot about the idea of "fun", and what it would look like for me.

I'm specifically thinking of the kind of fun that sustains you during dark times, and takes the edge off of them, so you're less likely to find yourself wondering why you even exist. That's a place I've been finding myself in a lot, recently. Jenny's long long gone, what the hell am I still hanging around for? ("You're still here? The movie's over. Go home." — Ferris Bueller)

At first, the only thing I could think of was that moment in the fall of 1981 when the four of us (J, C, E, and me) were kind of at the peak of our friendship, before things started to slide downhill, and we all were sitting on a picnic table at Quaker Lake enjoying the warm evening and talking and leaning against each other. I feel like I've been trying to find a way back to that moment ever since then.

I think I need to work out specifically what it is I'm wanting from that... it has a lot to do with the poem.

But then Sydney and I were playing silly spelling-games on Mastodon the other day, and I actually made her laugh... and I realized that playing those sorts of games is also fun. It was tinged with a bit of sadness because I knew it wouldn't last forever, but it was fun doing it and rereading it makes me laugh again.

Between those two aspects, I found myself in that headspace where quiet hysterical laughter so easily becomes crying. I was missing it already, even as I was in it... and I think that's partly because it reminded me of Tigger. (I have previously lapsed from hysterical laughter to crying when thinking about Tigger.)

The first time Tigger and I encountered each other in person after actually getting to know each other, I was still living at home and we'd only ever been in touch via letters – so we were both ridiculously nervous around each other, and every attempt at conversation seemed to die into awkward silence... until I started saying random words, and observing how woody or tinny they were.

And that's when the conversation really got going. I think we must have gone back and forth for about an hour on that theme, as we walked around the neighborhood. Nothing else was discussed; just [random word/phrase] plus an observation of how woody or tinny it was, usually accompanied by some sort of pretend small-talk ("simply ghastly... can't abide that sort of thing"). I can't remember any of them except "telephone pole" and "shower curtain" (particularly racy, that one).

That was fun. I think we played other games like that, later on, but I don't remember at the moment.

So that's two or three things that are fun[2]. Surely there are other things?


  1. Historical note: my first use of the "poem" tag to post an actual poem.
  2. I've also described squashing wingnuts as "fun" (see my first response to Morbius in this thread), but that's not the same kind of fun. It's more a controlled release of pent-up aggression put to good purpose – like singing along to music turned up loud.

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