We had preordered our tickets (which was my first time ever to use Passbook on my phone, and I totally felt like the Jetsons with my virtual roboticket), so there wasn’t much of a wait to strap on some armbands and stand in line with pretty much every variety of person on the planet.
Seriously, this was as good as people watching gets. Costumes and pajama pants, stilettos and flip flops, and absolutely everything else imaginable. Spandex. Sequins. Feathers. Rubber. Metal. Cardboard. Want to wear some ears and a tail? Awesome. Top hat? Help yourself. Flippers with no other hint of a costume? Have some nachos.
And yeah, they stunk. Some of them did. Some of them smelled fantastic – particularly these two chicks who I’m fairly absolutely concretely certain were prostitutes. But they were all so… connected. It was such a community of all these people who mostly didn’t know each other. There was trust in so many iterations – from the toddler in his Iron Man outfit who won a sword fight with a Stormtrooper to the mom of two in her steampunk corset and bustle who didn’t give a shit what you thought about her cellulite. It was freeing just to be there, to be able to take in the attitude of acceptance.
And also…the talent. It was a grab bag of you-pick-it eeney meanie miney holy balls. I have never been in tossing distance of so much ability in my life. It was amazing and humbling and completely exciting. I still don’t really have the right words.
I am not and never have been what anyone would call a cool person. I’m not with it or hip or anything the kids like these days. And in theory, neither were these people, right?
I mean, according to the movies and high school and anything I ever learned from band camp, these are the punch lines, right? The nerds, the geeks, the people who don’t fit in.
Except these people were amazing. They were real and colorful and…themselves.
That’s it. That’s what it was.
There was no apology in any of this past weekend. No one was sorry for being whoever it was they wanted to be. It was open and obnoxious, and the most authentic experience I’ve ever had.
I met some amazing people. Made some connections I will treasure. Hopefully some of the people I met will take a turn to post here sometime soon, and I’m excited about that.
For now though, I’m still sorting through everything I learned this weekend. About myself, about my world. About comic books and zombies. About how lucky I am to realize that just because there’s no one like me doesn’t mean there’s anything to change about me.
***all photos used with permission, courtesy of Keith Reed, whom I found on the Twitters.