Missing Dawn

Dearest Rachel –

After pausing wonderingly through a vision in which I meet Sylvester McCoy (who greets me warmly and asks if I’m ‘still at that charming place,’ which I take to mean our house. He talks about it in glowing terms, as if he’s seen it, but appears unaware that you’re no longer with me, or what became of you. Not particularly strange visually, as dreams go, but decidedly…off), the first thing I am able to see when I open my eyes are the glowing red numbers of the alarm clock set beside me on the nightstand.


I’m momentarily shocked.

Now, it isn’t as if there’s anything calling to me in the way of panels (although they are running the AMVs – anime music videos – submitted for the convention competition from 9 until 11) or actual anime (when was the last time we bothered to spend any significant time in a screening room, other than Midnight Madness, at any of these conventions? Ten, fifteen years ago?), but it’s surprising to realize I’ve slept in later today than I think I have in a year or so. Not since I was last fighting a cold – and with the Covid protocols that have been in force this past year and a half, I haven’t had to deal with those either – have I put in a full eight hours like we’re all supposed to.

And I suppose I ought to be happy about that. It’s not like I missed out on anything officially a part of the program, and while I was aware of the party down below – and even walked through it on my way back from carding folks queued up for one of the 18+ panels last night – I wasn’t feeling it enough to have any desire to join in for any length of time. Although, I couldn’t pass through entirely without notice: Ryuu called me out – “Hey, Old School! Didn’t think you would be here! Glad you decided to join us!” and pulled a beverage of some questionable provenance out of the cleavage of the maid apron he was wearing to offer me. And while I appreciated his acceptance and hospitality – however ham-handed as it might be – I found myself demurring with tired eyes (at that point, I was one of the few still wearing my mask, since I’d been inside working for several hours), which he had the grace to let slide.

Evidently, I was more tired than I knew.

I don’t bother with breakfast; I pass by the recharge room (where they have a microwave that would allow me to heat a bowl of udon) only to discover that it’s still as locked up as it had been on my way back to my room last night. So, there’s nothing for it. Best to make my way downstairs, and find out what’s going on, and if I can be a part of it somewhere.

I make my way to the volunteer booth, to see if there’s something – anything – I can do to keep myself occupied. They send me to (of all places) the tabletop gaming room, to work on sanitizing returned materials.

The tables are supposed to be reserved, and when people are done, they return their board game, and we at the desk return their badge. And this is when we go to work: spraying the chairs, wiping down the tables, and placing the game pieces in a lined container for the UV ray treatment.

The former is a bit of a ‘lick-and-a-promise’ process – already on Saturday, they appear to be on their last bottle of spray. I also keep it down to a wipe for each half of the table. Meanwhile, the UV process seems fairly sophisticated, so I leave that to the staffers.

It’s fairly safe to say that, with protocols like this in place, there will be no Cards Against Humanity played this weekend.

For that matter, I’ve looked at the program, and realized Samurai Dan (and Jillian) are not on the guest list. For that matter, there are only three guests entirely, none of whom I recognize. Granted, one happens to be the voice of the schizoid bear character from DanganRompa, which might get Daniel’s attention these days. I expect I’ll meet them a bit more in-depth tomorrow morning at brunch.

It’s very feast-or-famine in this room; processing a game like Munchkin Quest (which includes three decks of cards and a whole raft of other loose pieces) takes a considerable amount of time, but when there are only two or three tables in use at a time, it’s not like we’re exactly swamped with stuff to do. It’s just enough to keep busy, but not so much as to overwhelm.

I do feel a little guilty leaving at around 12, however, as there are now five different games going on at once; if they all end at about the same time, it may make a liar out of me with regard to that ‘overwhelming’ comment above. But I’ve gotten a text from one of my fellow writers from AnimeIowas long past, and we’ll be meeting for lunch shortly.

More to come, honey. Until then, helsa hemm.

Published by randy@letters-to-rachel.memorial

I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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