I worked on something wonderful today. I can’t wait to share more about it, when the time comes.
I had such a good time. I improvised bits, tried on different hats with the character until one fit just right, and then played with the hat. The director encouraged me to amuse myself, which resulted in a couple of surprising, hilarious, special moments. (Directors: thank you for supporting us and creating a safe place to be weird).
It was a long session, and I’m a stander (as opposed to a sitter) in the booth, so that takes its toll on my –motherfucker i hate saying this– fifty year-old body. But the performance had its demands (and rewards) too.
The thing is, I knew my strength was depleted when I left the session. My physical body was like, “Dude, you gotta ease into this. We’ve been doing a lot of sitting down.” What I didn’t find out until I got home about half an hour ago is that my mana was absolutely wiped. I discovered this when I excitedly took all the inspired, creative energy, the validation and satisfaction of a job well done, the absolute joy of being part of something I’m excited and proud to be part of, and I POWERED into my desk, ready to get to work on the writing thing I mentioned last week.
FUCK YEAH LET’S DO THIS!
open libreoffice and the fingers are in the home row and let's g-
That’s when the DM who is running my life tapped me on the shoulder and gently shook their head as they said, “You need, at minimum, a short rest.”
“Yeah, but I–“
“Minimum. In fact, even with that, you will make all creative decisions at a penalty until you have a long rest. Don’t be mad at me. I did not write the rules.” They gestured toward their dice. A subtle but clear threat.
Idiot that I am, I insisted that I make a saving throw to see if I could recover temporary mana just for this one thing. I cited a rarely used section of the rules, as one does in desperate times. I cross-referenced a 1986 article in the official magazine.
“I multiclass as a Healer / Bard, right? What if the Bard whose mana comes from charisma is wiped, but the healer whose mana comes from wisdom, may have a little something left in the tank? The bard could kind of rest while the healer does his thing?
The DM allowed it!
Imagine a d20 rolling as slowly and dramatically as you have ever seen. Use every trope: it lands on 1, it tilts to 12, back to 1, keeps rolling, tumbling across the table … is that a 15? A 5? Why didn’t I ask what the DC of the roll was? FUCK FUCK FUCK it’s almost at the edge of the table and
It hits the pen I use when I write in my notebook, kicks off back towards me, and settles on the number 19.
“How about 19? Does 19 work for you?”
Turns out 19 IS enough, when you aren’t murdering Eladrin in acid pits, Chris Perkins! ha ha boom gottem.
So here we are. You’re all up to date, and I’m glad you’re here.The Bard is resting, and the Healer is ready to write something. I wonder what I’ll blog about now.
This space here? This space represents me starting and deleting a lot of ideas, until
Oh! Okay. I got it. Here we go.
I once saw this thing that said “Be here now.” I feel like it was an album title for a band I didn’t like. Or maybe it was an advertising slogan. Maybe I should just look it up. Be right back.
Okay so it’s a movie I didn’t see, a book from 1978 I didn’t read, and a LOT of “Live, Laugh, Love” style samplers.
That Gen X part of me who dismisses everything and barely musters a “meh” if you really push him to reply to you dismissed that sentiment without any thought. “I am here now, stupid. I’d like to be literally anywhere else BUT here, in your fucking country kitchen from Target, thank you.”
Only today, while I was trying to make that saving throw, I needed a buff. The Healer, remember? So the Healer said to me, “Dude, you’re doing too much. You’re going too fast. You need to sit here in the sun and breathe. You have time. It isn’t even 4:20 (nice) yet.”
So I took some deep breaths. And the sun felt GREAT on my skin. I noticed the parts of my body that were warmer than others. I noticed how my black T-shirt was warming up and passing that warmth to my torso. I just sat there and didn’t worry about being anywhere else.
“Aw, fuck.” I said out loud. “I just got what ‘Be here, now,’ means, and I actually like it. I really, really, really like it. Fuck me.” Then I was kind of mad for a minute because it was so obvious, but also because fuck this stupid email signature quote for meaning anything to me, a person of great sophistication and endless Punk Rock. But I forgave myself real quick because I’m tired and maybe a little cranky because I didn’t sleep that great last night.
I got up, took the trash cans to the curb, because it’s fuckin’ Wednesday. On the way, I thought, “You know, I should be here, now, and not in my mom’s car, when I’m 9, going to an audition I don’t want to go to. I should be here, now, instead of watching a multicamera replay of some stupid thing I’m mortified about that nobody else in the world remembers. I should be here, now, with the stupid trashcans on fuckin’ Wednesday, and I should just sit in how good the work felt today. Take the fuckin’ win, man.”
I dragged the final can to the curb and the Healer spoke up. “Hey, instead of the word “should,” et’s reframe it: “You know, I can choose to be here, now … and so on.”
“Aw, fuck me again! That’s really good! It feels so empowering! Nice work,” I thought.
I came back into the house. I felt that warmth slowly leave my skin as I filled a glass of water. It’s in my Who Is Wil Wheaton? glass from Jeopardy. I allowed myself to be there for a quick second, because OF COURSE WE ALL WOULD, and then I was back to being here, now.
I like being here, now. That Gen X part of me? He is rolling his eyes so hard right now. He’s making all these deadpan jokes about how he cant’ wait to see me buy these words on weathered wood from wish.com. And hang them up in my vision room. In his defence, it kills with this extremely specific audience (me, up until I was … older than I want to admit) so you can’t blame him for giving the people what they — excuse me, the person what he wants.
Your values of Here and Now are unique to you. If you haven’t made a choice to be wherever they are for you in a minute, I encourage you to … ugh, I hate this: Be here, now. It feels kinda good, doesn’t it? Like, really take a moment. Feel where you are, and just be only there. Even if you only do it while you count to … try 10. Maybe go up to 20 or 30.
SEE? Stupid slogans actually meaning something that is genuinely helpful. Where do they get the nerve?
Okay, I’ve pushed the Healer as far as he can go, today. Now I’m going to go watch my mana refill itself, so I can start charging this thing I am so excited to write.
After a long rest. JEEZE.