Life as an Extreme Sport


So earlier this evening I was called a “shipper” by a friend, giving me the opportunity to finally ask an actual human being (I’m beginning to think this is defined by the ability to spell, but I digress) what the hell that meant. Apparently it’s someone who gets involved in the relationships of characters on TV shows, often with too-cute mooshings of character names to symbolize the union (desired, existing, or otherwise).

Over at Neil Gaiman’s journal, which isn’t letting me actually access the page or I’d give you a direct link to the relevent entry, he says:

…part of the compact between reader and writer …[is that in] fiction, you’re being told something that matters, and that you’ll care about, and which will have consequences, and won’t leave you feeling cheated.

It’s probably just my desire to very much not be associated with the sort of people I suspect “shippers” to be (the mind alternately switches between women writing fanfic I’d be horrified to stumble across and something vaguely 17th century-ish and involving lots of rum), but this is what draws me to character stories. It’s not necessarily the fact that a couple is or is not “having a relationship” as it is that the tension often creates a lot of great writing opportunities for those doing the writing. Give a good writer a good opportunity, and she’ll usually take it. Add in some good actors who have chemistry, and you’ve got something compelling.

It doesn’t have to be a romantic relationship for this to work; of all the series I can think of, Deep Space Nine did a fabulous job making almost all the characters have dynamic and engrossing interpersonal relationships.

Of course, if we look over the list of chararcter interpersonal relationships that I’ve been most fond of, a pattern does emerge: Kira and Odo, Picard and Crusher, O’Neill and Carter, and just so people don’t think that the pattern is “my god she’s a science fiction geek!”, Maddy and David and Ross and Hathaway. Sort of telling, isn’t it? Perhaps there’s something to be learned there. But I maintain that I’m not a shipper, merely someone who appreciates compelling character dynamics of any type.

Of Fountains and Recollections

Maybe it’s the heat, the time of the year… recollections do seem to be running high in my head, as well… but perhaps it was the drive, noticing the places where we had stopped to fight, or the places we had always wanted to go, but never had… maybe it was stopping at the same motels as in the past and still forgetting to bring things out of the room in the morning,… maybe it’s the smell of the baking northern californian landscape, the scent of the air as it changes as Mt. Shasta looms beautifully and ominously, or the site of the Big Dipper perfectly framed in the front window of the car. Maybe it was eating again at restaurant first stopped at on a whim and enjoying the taste of langos and magyar coffee, or maybe it was finally stopping on I-5 to take that photograph… maybe it was the lack of fights, the serenity and peace, the wild abandon and whims that finally caught up after 3 years of giving chase. Maybe it was simply coming home and being just that, home… … the joy and happiness I’ve had in the last two months has only been paralleled once in my life, and that time was also with you. For taking me along with you and being excited about it, for the effort and trying and caring, and most of all for loving me with all the passion I feel for you… thank you. I love you.

Melancholy As Fuck

Some of you may have seen this already, and I apologize – however, it came out well, and said what I needed to say, so it was easier to revise slightly and post, than try to rephrase and resay it all…

It’s been 6 months since he left. It’s been 6 weeks since we stopped talking. I guess in my head, things are rearranged a bit now; it doesn’t really matter that I saw him in between the 6 months and 6 weeks, because in that time, he didn’t see things the way I did. Now, when I look back, I really see that, and I realize that what hurts hurt before 6 weeks ago.

It’s hard. I can’t complain about friends; I have wonderful friends, online and offline, and I have what I think is probably the best of both worlds – friends that are both on and offline friends. My ‘real life’ friends are great, they don’t fill a gap that I *sort of * have with my online friends; I could really use expanding that to real life. (‘That’ being the ability to sit around for hours and have Deep Meaningful Conversations…) For over 3 yrs I had a lot more than that, all bundled up in one person.

Do you know, in that time, we didn’t spend more than a month, total, apart? We would have days on end where we had little to do with each other, but were still always there, especially at night. And it’s been 6 months, and then some, of not having that connection with someone. And more than that – not having that mental connection with someone.

I always laughed at Star Trek,… The Vulcans had this thing, when they were mated, a tangible link between minds. When I was younger (less experianced), I thought it was such cheesy anti-sexual revolution nonsense. Now, now I know it was just written by someone who wanted an entire society where people had that strong of a love. If you were pair bonded like that, and your mate died, you often died. And I understand that, too, now. It is a rather large gaping hole – where you could reach out and actually *feel* the other person, even if they were miles away. I know it’s the kind of pain that isn’t going to go away, and isn’t going to be gotten over…

But I *am* impatient… and I’d like to move on with my life; it feels like “sheesh, 6 months, and the only people who’ve begun to interest me are either too far away, which I’m so not into, or not available.” I also know I have terribly high ideals, and I’ve been spoiled by what I did have; I really do pity any other guy who’s going to have to take that on…

I come back, always, to a new (for me) truth – humans were never meant to be alone.