“The Blessing of a hometown Festival is that you know where the opium dens are. The Curse of a hometown Festival is that the opium dens know who you are.”
–Boris Devilboon, Letters from the Unholy Citadel
Friday Night Derailed
A simple plan.
Dress up nice. Drink the whiskey. Dance in the Fire. Disappear before Sunrise.
The rhythm was fucked from the start. Problems on a job site put me an hour behind schedule leaving work and traffic kept the freeways at a crawl. I could save time by abandoning the journey home to head straight to the venue, but without my supplies it would be a wasted trip. Reality was threatening my Friday Night at GP Detroit, and my blood was boiling with contempt as I forced my way onward.
I took a shower and shaved my head. I was already behind schedule, but I was not going to look like the savage bastard I intended to act like. I gathered the fresh batch of Green Mana Cookies™ I made the night prior and my binder of extra cards, mostly Oldschool stuff I have upgraded or the remnants of the last collection I inherited. On the other side of the Weekend a Bazaar of Baghdad would be waiting for me, but it would not be free and it would not come easy.
“In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity, is the vital thing.”
– Oscar Wilde, The Importance of being Erhnam
All of this began with a recounting of the second time I was mugged. But the more I wrote, the more complicated it became. The lines that define began to gray and fade. The story painted me in an unjust light. I was the victim, yet the words seem to suggest I was the villain. As I read it I cursed the writer for his slander, only to bite my tongue in realization that I was the recipient of the lashing.
So for now, it will remain shelved. And for a rare and capricious approach, I will begin with and primarily discuss Magic.
“What is this?”
She stood in the doorway. With the light beaming in through the window from the hall behind her, I could only make out her silhouette. As my eyes focused, I could see that she was holding something in her fingers. It was a piece of paper.
I held my tongue and tried to gauge her body language. She was tense. Nervous. Was she holding her breath? I did not recognize it, and I did not want to imagine what it might be. She seemed to be holding it up accusingly. Any reaction would unleash her fury. I was curious, but far too aware to step into such an obvious trap. Any misplay would would cost me dearly.
“To reflect on the past, we must pull our teeth from the flesh of the present and our vision from the hellfire of the future.” – Baron Sengir
Summer 2002. My daughter was three years old. She was almost as fascinated with me as I was with her.
The first time I found her looking at a Magic card, but I could not see what it was. She was talking to my brother about it.
“This is my dad. That’s blood by his mouth.”
“Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.”
-William Shakespeare, Macbeth
The toils of every day life tend to be a blur, easily forgotten or drowned in the similarity of moments once they pass from the present into memory. The details of an average day are rarely noticed while they happen, so it is no wonder that we do not recall them after they are gone.
We live for the festive moments. We mourn the tragic ones. The strangest among us blend the two like a poisonous and sweet nectar, and let life intoxicate us not only in anticipation and memory, but also in the moments as they happen, embracing the ecstasy and the agony without discrimination.
For us, the celebration never ends. Every day is Halloween.
“When you have understood my words, forget them. If you cannot understand my words, ignore them. I insist on your freedom.” – Rasputin Dreamweaver, from “Reflections on Kerouac”
Darkness gives way to the light.
It washes over my face. With it comes a cold, morning breeze. A shiver runs through my prone body. I roll over and have to catch myself as I land on the tattered floorboards of a front porch. I lean against my perch for a moment, letting my eyes adjust, slowly coming to understand that I had been sleeping atop a large blue cooler. On the porch. On a porch. I do not have a porch.
“I like my magic like I like metal: Black and from 1994.” – Yawgmoth, Former Sound Board Technician at Deathlike Silence Productions
I love Music the same way I love Magic.
It should come as no surprise that my passion for sound is as far from the mainstream as my approach to the game.