I hate being crazy.
Lake Geneva Games hosted a "Gary Day" today, to celebrate Gary Gygax's birthday. Thursday is always board game day at LGG, so there are usually people anyway, but today was more crowded than usual. I came in, said hello to friends in the retail area, said hello to friends in the north room, wandered into the south room and found that it had been completely taken over by Ernie Gygax and ten or twelve people playing AD&D 1st Ed in Ernie's legendary Hobby Shop Dungeon.
Ernie has been my friend pretty much from the day I met him in 2003, when my office got moved into the building where he already worked. He has been running the HSD at conventions for several years, and I have always wanted to sit in on a session, but have never managed to make the connection. And here was Ernie telling me they were going to need a new character in a few minutes, and the chair at his left hand was open, and I was welcome to sit in if I wanted to. I agreed and took my seat; Ernie handed me a character sheet and said, "It's all filled out, just roll the hit points and fill out the spell list." And reality, which has been fraying around me lately anyway, started to tear.
I have never gotten along with the D&D magic system, for many reasons. The details don't matter. What does matter is that something I had been wanting to do for several years, and was close enough to touch, had just landed on top of one of my crazy buttons.
I hate being crazy.
Usually when this kind of thing happens, I need to get away for half an hour or so, get my head into the proper survivalist mode, and then come back and get the job done. Except... This wasn't something I HAD to do, this was something that I was supposed to enjoy, something that I had been looking forward to for YEARS, and I didn't HAVE half an hour to walk away, I had to get the job done and be functional in about five minutes.
And then another friend came in from the other room and said that they had a spot open in a game I had asked about a few minutes earlier when I was still sane, and I mumbled something along the lines of, "I can't do this now," and I got up and left.
The other game was a brand new, complex board game from a family of games that I enjoy but usually don't figure out until the second run through. This time I didn't even try, just made random choices and muddled through. I learned a few things, came in dead last. But the company was good, and I don't think my companions had an idea of how much pain I was in.
I REALLY hate being crazy.