When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I Used To Rule The World ...

I'm going to explain this in a few hours. The tag I put on this post and the tone of this song should clue you in as to what it will be about.

Buckle up...

... okay, I've calmed down a bit since I first posted so I'm sure I won't be as virulent as I could have been. And that's a good thing.

Here's the deal--

Today is one of the infrequent days my New York suburban friends play D&D in a New York suburb. This is where to find the oft spoken of Grim Jester. Well, there a member of this group who I usually pick up in my car and drive to the venue. This member is a recluse and has symptoms of social phobia and some schizophrenia. I haven't told him that when we sometimes decompress at the end of the night, talking for about an hour before he leaves the car and goes home. He really does want relationships, but he says he hates people. Yet he games with us, introduced to the group about four or five years ago by Grim Jester.

Well today, Grim Jester calls me to say he has an emergency and he can't make it, and he wants me to distribute the news to everyone else as he rushes off to save the world. He tells me to tell everyone that we should still play without him. And that suits because he's not running the game--our other friend is, the cop.

So I carry out the news. When I get to the friend who I drive to the games, he says he doesn't want to go if Grim Jester is not going.

I mean, come on. I'm the guy who drives him every game. We talk all the way there, and all the way back. I sit in the car and talk to him for 30mins to an hour after the ride, after five to six hours of gaming. The only thing the prevents me from going over his house when there's no gaming is because I don't want to do therapy when I'm not working.

But because Grim Jester's not going, this guy is just going to drop all of us?

Fine, I tell everyone else, and just let the game be canceled. Because now that two of us canceled, there's not really enough of us left to pick up where we left off.

Then half an hour later, Grim Jester calls me and says the emergency is over and he wants to play. So I tell him the game was canceled, telling him only that his friend canceled when he heard that Grim wasn't coming, so Grim gets all indignant and decides to call everyone else himself to Make Things Right Again.

Seconds later, Grim's Friend; My Passenger calls me back to say, "Grim's going! Can you still pick me up?"

And I'm like, "What?"

Now, I understand the dude has phobias and it takes a lot for him to want to attend the group. But evidently, it also takes Grim Jester. And I just couldn't help but think "Well what the hell am I, just a chauffeur?"

Then, of course, being me, and being recently aware of my loneliness, I hated Grim Jester. Grim is always the leader. He's the one with the muscular, lithe frame. With all the body hair. And the bare feet. And the ... whatever.

It doesn't matter. I don't hate him anymore. I am, in fact sitting here in the group, in New York suburbia, having transported Grim's Friend; My Passenger to the game (he's sitting right next to me). And I am getting over it. Being jealous takes a lot of energy, and this is my one day off a week.

So what I'm not liked as well as Grim Jester is by this guy who I give time, gas, and therapeutic attention to so he won't become an utter psychotic? So what that Grim Jester is really the glue that holds this group together? So what that we aren't really friends--but we're just Grim Jester's satellites? So what?

I'm still here. We still have "fun".

So what?



Anonymous said...

I chalk up moments like this to typical 'gamer politics'. I've yet to see a completely drama-free group of gamers.

(And this isn't just because I might be the one causing the drama)

I've got friends who have 'shadows' - they will only show up if a particular other person will show. I wouldn't take too much offense at the slight - I honestly don't think the thought that he insulted you ever crossed his mind.

Of course, you could ask for recompensation for the fuel used in being the taxi service...


The Neighbor said...

I've been in this guy's place before, and also in yours. I know just what you mean - this guy find acceptance not in the game, but in the presence of the person he considers his point of attachment. The game is his connection to the person, but the connection to the person - the individual - is his justification for being there.

You know as well as I do that people are not interchangeable - if they were, I'd be long past my relationship issues. We're all different, and the fact that you are kind to this person might be lost on him.

For what it's worth, your words and opinions have more weight with me than most people I know in flash and blood - I look forward to your posts, your observations, your comments. You matter to me, Alan. Your passenger, if he knew that, might be insanely jealous of YOU.

I know that does little to erase the slight, and I agree, it is a slight.

In high school, I would get invited to things if my friend the Judge got invited, but not if he was not going. It was that clear to me - that I was welcome as part of his entourage, but not on my own merits. Not for who I was. I hated it, in retrospect, but I got over it. Well, sort of. Jealousy is a heavy burden.

GrizzBabe said...

Neurosis can be so irrational. Forgive him; he knows not what he does.

(But I totally get where you're coming from.)