Old.

I am currently sitting in a foreign land, an apartment, not many miles from my own, where a good friend of mine lives… with his wife.  His pregnant wife.

I just turned 21 on Sunday so you might understand how this comes as something of a shock, my friends spawning podlings.  It is deranged and disturbing on a base level.  I am barely equipped to handle the idea that my own physiology is capable of spawning a hybrid version of myself with the aid of a host maiden.  To see friends, friends of similar age, engaging in the practice that results in this horrific merging is common.  To see them complete the horrific merger and not, I believe this is the correct term, “freak the fuck out” is unheard of.

Yet now I have seen it.  A happy married couple barely older than I, living in an apartment of their own, with a son on the way.  A boy!  A male human!  I know this is how I was produced and I’ve seen my aunt pregnant twice, I’ve held babies lovingly in my arms but they were all family, not friends.  To see it made real so suddenly is jarring to say the least.

Still, in the interest of science, I persevere.

In any case, when I arrived I found to my surprise, there is a way to make an environment more geeky than my own citadel.  There are anime wallscrolls and posters/prints covering 90% of the wallspace, and action figures/statues from World of Warcraft, Hellraiser, Megaman (lots of Megaman), various incarnations of Gundam, more manga than I’ve seen in most bookstores,

The characters I recognize are few and far between.  Comfortable icons of gaming are largely absent, a Big Daddy exists on a shelf, partially obscured.  Disgaea characters can be found among the gallery atop the mantle, as one might find flowers or commemorative plates in another scenario.

Did I mention my friend is married?

With a child on the way?

Clearly there are women out there who not only tolerate this level of geekiness, they revel in it, they thrive, they SPAWN in it.  Compared to their apartment, taken as a whole, my single room appears… normal.

Time goes on, we talk about World of Warcraft, a pastime we both share in (as does his wife, apparently) and call in another member of the old guard to throw down in some Soul Calibur.  It suddenly loses the feel of a distant experiment and the four anti-anxiety pills I had waiting in my pocket appear as if they won’t be needed.  The people I knew haven’t changed as much as their circumstances would indicate.  They have not mutated fundamentally.  I begin to question: Am I the mutant?  Am I the aberration?  One friend is married with broodling en route, the other is engaged and so content in his relationship that he doesn’t even notice when he flirts with other women.  I’ve always known him as something of a ladies man, not a predator, but a smart guy with a pretty face and a way with words.  Something I envy, to be sure, but I’m content with my own gifts for now.

Am I the mutant, though?  Marriage at 21 seems unthinkable, but clearly it is being done.  I have seen with my own eyes the evidence.  Not too long ago another friend of mine was engaged.  A former friend of mine married recently as well, as did my first girlfriend (to a contemptible prick).

We told stories of our lives and laughed, reveling in how funny everything seems now, even if it was horrific and painful at the time, at the very least embarassing (and in some cases punchassing, don’t ask).  Another epiphany:  Here we were, three barely-men of age 21 reminiscing about the good old days, when things were simpler and somehow more vibrant.

I felt old.

I am a mutant.

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1 Comment

  1. if u ask me, your the only sane one there.


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