I spent close to a month preparing for a nerd convention. I’m not even close to feeling embarrassed or ashamed about this. I worked really hard in the hope that I could feel good about myself while standing on escalators so overworked you couldn’t help but think of those poor donkeys that ferry the morbidly obese up and down the Grand Canyon. How did it go? Here’s my PAX diary:
I think three hours is barely enough to call what I did last night “sleep,” but it turns out Guild Wars is an incredibly good game... but I should probably play it less. The majority of my night was however spent playing a new game, of my own invention. It’s called “Clean your fucking apartment, C.H.U.D.” and I didn’t stop playing until the place stopped smelling like dry funk.
I am fueled entirely by coffee, and it is strong. Right off the bat I want to hate myself, but I can’t; I’m reasonably well put together clothes wise, and I’m standing tall. My only goal for PAX is to see people I knew in my early twenties. Out of town friends, old coworkers and that one dude who I promised myself I would punch in the throat if I ever saw again. He was nowhere to be seen, but everything else was a success, so I’m gonna call it good at two outta three.
Afternoon is in full force, and I’m not doing very good at doing bad at my diet. I feel anxious, and am starting to regret my choice of shorts. This is really dumb, but I can’t hate myself yet -- the night is young.
I head home to shower and change for a League of Legends-themed dance party. Again, this is also so incredibly nerdy I have no choice but to take it full circle and own it. I finally start feeling less weird about myself, I look good, I think. I’m coordinated to the nines.
Someday I promise to stop talking about my underwear, but this is not that day. You wouldn’t know it to look at me, cause I’m not the guy that flashes his drawers to the world (yet), but they are green, and they are awesome. I spend maybe fifteen minutes longer than is necessary dancing in front of the mirror.
Waiting in line I see a friend who I hadn’t seen in a while, and who I didn’t really expect to ever see again. I think she’s impressed.
Waiting in line I manage to make friends with the people standing behind me. Using my charm (rampant misogyny), wit (conversational bully tactics) and hilarious observational humor skills (antiquated racial pejoratives) I convince them to take me into the club as a VIP with them. I am a VIP. It’s a party for a video game, where one can buy video game-themed drinks, but a goddamn VIP regardless. Fuck, I’m doing pretty well at being a social creature. I make a note to check today off as a success on the “Fat fuck calendar.”
It’s 10:15 pm, I haven’t eaten in about seven hours. This marks the beginning of the “Whiskeying.” Because I think I’m adorable, the gay bartenders make my drinks strong; real strong. I’m filled with liquid courage, and a sense of self-worth. I am unstoppable at this moment. I decide to talk to her.
I try pointing out my shoes, but she’s pretty clear that she’s already noticed them. I’m not sure if she’s making fun of me or is totally into it. I go with fallback plan because “Hey, wanna look at some underwear” seems surprisingly inappropriate, and show her my dinosaur socks -- yeah, she’s totally impressed. This is all the confirmation I need, I look fucking great.
Note to self: Buy more Cretaceous socks.
Walking home I feel like a stone that’s been sitting in my belly is suddenly missing. I didn’t know it was there, and I’m not even sure where it came from. Maybe it was the whole potentially horrifying friend thing turning out alright, or the fact that I’m kind of digging myself. I don’t particularly care..
I am still drunk. I am not hungover. Drunk. Not loopy “I just peed in the neighbor” drunk, but medically drunk. I am detached, taking notes on the things my brain is telling me. I am fully in control of my motor functions, but undeniably sauced.
I also look good! Two dressings in a row. I look like a man who is going to take the entire convention out to a nice dinner, because I am an important internet person. I exude equal parts calm cool assurance and Dove for men body wash.
Oh, now I’m hungover. No one should ever be able to pinpoint the exact moment when drunk ends and the hangover begins. Thankfully I’m a scientist able to compartmentalize the wave of pain rushing through my system like a whale through a slip-n-slide. But I notice that my back isn’t hurting. My back always hurts at PAX. This is clearly too good to be true, and I am giddy.
Evening is here and I’m waiting outside an arcade for another party, but neither of my invites are able to get me in. For over an hour, I am the guy standing by himself outside of Gameworks. This is pathetic, I think I want to cry. The loathing begins to creep up my fortress-like belly, but I squash it down and mentally threaten to bite my lip if it does not stop quivering. I haven’t eaten in over 34 hours. I’m fucking terrible at not dieting.
I sleep till almost 11, but I’m pretty sure I need more. Today I decide to dress casual, and regret it the entire day. My sandbags are washed away, I feel awkward and stupid and fat from noon till Monday. Fuck it. I came out ahead on the weekend, and I walked forever. We’re going to call it a win.
I stepped on the scale today, and it said “Lo BTRY.” I fucking did it, I outlasted that little fucker. I’m finished. I would just replace the batteries, but they look like really Japanese, and besides I’m getting the entire thing bronzed and mounted in my den.