Never forget that life can only be nobly inspired and rightly lived if you take it bravely and gallantly, as a splendid adventure in which you are setting out into an unknown country, to meet many a joy, to find many a comrade, to win and lose many a battle.
~ Annie Besant
So, there I was. Being all boo-hoo and woe-is-me. Some of you saw what I was trying to get at and came alongside. Others of you called bullshit. Maybe not here, to my face. But you did it just the same.
And then there was Lisa. A comrade! A fellow traveler of this lonely road. Her comment on that post took my breath away. How common is it to find a first-time reader who leaves such thoughtful, engaging and empathetic words?
My other first thought? Great. Another online companion. Someone with whom I could break the real-life bread of fellowship if only miles and miles didn’t separate us.
Don’t hear that wrong. Please. I have many friends that I’ve never met who rock my world. We chat on the effbooks. We exchange emails and Christmas cards. You start Spotify playlists for me. We get along swimmingly, and I count you as part of a growing list of people I call friends. And not because Mark Zuckerberg gave me permission to do so. In fact, I choose not to use the word “virtual” for you are a real person, with blood and bile and brains that house a tender soul.
And so I naturally wondered if perhaps Lisa was one such online friend and I failed to make the connections. Only, to my great surprise, it wasn’t just any Lisa. It was Danira! She of the Big Fucking Sword! The Yin to my Yang! The Gwyneth Paltrow to my Jack Black!
With whom I’ve spent glorious months riding a boat and thwarting the best-laid plans of pirates and leviathans alike. With whom I’ve ridden horseback upon the winter-ravaged planes of western Immoren stoking the fires of giant war machines. She who saved my ass in a tavern once, and fought valiantly against an undead librarian while I waited in the hallway perusing books about the restorative-yet-hallucinogenic properties of hooaga leaves.
Dexter Duchovic’s long-lost love had sent a flare over my wreck and rescued me.
We ended up chatting for an hour or so and then agreed to meet up with our respective SOs for coffee before the holidays run out. And the best part? She’s relocating from the impossibly faraway north side of town down to my neck of the woods, as the crow flies. Where her woman-cave awaits, with a mini-fridge and a real table and folding chairs, and possibly a couch for when we get tired and need to crash for a few minutes. And shelf after shelf of books for mining and tweaking. And her maniacal cackle as she initiates, upon some stupid adventuring decision, like choosing to lift the lid off some not-so-random and yet completely out-of-place toilet, that rite of all great Dungeon Masters – the Total Party Kill.
Lisa and I, we did what friends do. To borrow and turn an old phrase, we played ping pong over the abyss of our sorrows. We laughed amidst the pain. And we agreed to make it through together . . .