One of my cherished notions about myself is that no one knows the extent to which I am a nerd. Oh, I have plenty of geek cred, just enough to make you think that I am so smart and interesting and alternative. You know, totally hipster. I love Doctor Who and I grew up watching Star Treks and will follow Joss Whedon around with love in my eyes if only he’d lift the restraining order, but that’s all okay, right, because it makes me cool yeah?
That level of nerdery is okay, even totally awesome; when I start going deeper into nerdtown, I start to get embarrassed. I start to feel uncomfortable about the fact that I like computer games, that I have nostalgic thoughts about the Dragonlance series, that I accept invitations to go play D&D on a Saturday night.
And I know that I have bought into the loser-geek stereotype as much as anyone; that someone who enjoys things like role playing games with no irony whatsover is sad, a social outcast, someone who cannot relate to the real world and has no sense of self-preservation or self-awareness.
It’s a small corner of a larger problem: it makes me realize that hey, you know, I could do with a little less sense of self-awareness. I could do with a shovel and a few decades clearing out the pit of irony that has filled up to overflowing and become a mountain. I could do without worrying about preserving my dignity, the facade that I am sure that no one can see through except is totally transparent and why do I waste so much energy on it when it is not fooling anyone, again?
I am tired of being so aware of myself all the time, these layers upon layers, always watching myself, evaluating my actions and considering how I look to other people, what they might think of what I’m doing, saying, how I’m acting and what my motives are versus what people might think my motives are, ah ha, we have caught you!
You know what? It is fucking exhausting, people. I’m done.
I could use a spring cleaning. The feeling of throwing open all my windows and letting everything blow all to hell, letting the wind scouring the air clean. Work on saying, for example, I went to D&D on Saturday, you guys! I met a whole room full of people I like very much. They are smart and funny. They love playing D&D and it was fun. They want me to come back, and I said okay! I like you guys! And they said We like you too! And it was good and I was happy and I did not worry about my dignity or my coolness or hipness, and it was swell. And I feel swell.
photo by Tambako the Jaguar