Tuesday, January 12, 2016

David Bowie Died

Saturday night the party finds themselves fairly surrounded and boxed in and, thanks to their clever thinking, effectively blinded with something like 20 boars, 8 giant boars, and a wereboar type guy breathing down their necks. Their solution is to use the scroll of demon summoning they got from the DO NOT USE THESE ITEMS closet. They elect to summon a 30HD demon, but botch the roll and summon a 36HD demon. I don't want to break flow to generate that so here's two not-even-reskinned-really 5e mariliths. They control ONE of these. The wereboar summons the mass of boars to his side to save him from a burning building and the party forces the mariliths to fight, nearly get killed yet again, and then good marilith teleports uncontrolled marilith and herself into the house fire. The party hauls ass and very inexpertly makes their way out of the rocky coastline, nearly sinking their vessel in the process.

Later some other stuff happens. Sunday I play a video game. I'm halfway through a climactic robot battle when I get a message. I'm selling my house right now and squatting in a mostly-finished apartment on some swampland my parents bought some years back. Seller's agent will not let the seller close until I remove the paint, tile, garage door parts, and other items that are not mine. They predate me at the house and are there for repairs and touch-ups. They want everything beige though so now I have a problem: I'd left myself a window driving in Monday (6hr drive) to swing by and get my shit but the items that I intended to pick up Monday will have to be thrown away so I can instead fill my car with paint and chemicals and stuff I can't conventionally dispose of at the curb, unless I'm able to get to the dump. I haven't left time for either. Time to grab 2 shirts and my deodorant and hop in the car.

If I drive an hour and a half out of my way I can essentially get a place to stay for $20 in gas, thanks to my family's proximity to my old place. Lot of final errands to run and things to bring with me, but not my wife because she has an important appointment on Monday. I can get to their place at midnight, get up at 6, and give myself a 3 hr window before closing to clean my garage, get to the dump, get my other crap, then swing by the comic shop for my W2, all before meeting at the attorney's office for closing.

I've got The Martian audiobook and we become very good friends. Saw the movie already but always intended to do the audiobook, since I thought it would be more enjoyable than reading it. I've got a very strict schedule to keep, it's dark, I'm alone, I've got to keep moving, I've got to check in regularly with multiple parties to report my progress, and it's cold. If I miss any of my windows it'll be a disaster. I am the martian tonight.

I've carefully planned ahead for supplies, plenty of caffeine, lots of water to keep my body balanced, just a little sugar, plenty of protein. On a stop for refueling I pick up one of the most disgusting things I've ever put into my mouth. Peanut butter and cheese crackers from the dawn of time. There's about five little rants I could go on about this but it's fine, least of my problems. I'm at the door by midnight exactly. Shower. Asleep by 1. Up at 6:30. Late already. Thank you, goodbye, on the road, it's gonna be a bad day but at least it's all in front of me. I'm in the car for like 15 minutes when I get a call.

David Bowie died. Bad beginning to a bad day.

In my CD player is the 1990 CD rerelease of David Bowie/Space Oddity. On my phone is The Next Day and Hunky Dory, but since iTunes is a rutting goat that refuses to let me download Andy Warhol after paying for the same album twice I also have a copy of Hunky Dory in the seat next to me, purchased only a couple weeks ago. Somehow the case is already covered in something. For obvious reasons Bowie was already on my mind a lot during The Martian and is even name checked a couple times. I haven't been able to afford Blackstar yet.

Shitty breakfast. They shorted me everything and gave me dressing for pancakes, so now I'm out food but I have more garbage. It is super cold. Not like Fargo cold but it's quite cold and my hands hurt and I can't run them under warm water because the water is off. It turns out to be an hour and a half process just clearing the garage and loading up the car for take-off stuff. Maybe I can make it to the dump but priorities: gotta get that W2. I'm still in martian mode, and every time that occurs to me David Bowie died.

For that reason Mike is watching Bowie's SNL appearance and it's a gorgeous episode for a lot of reasons. Fuck it's good to be back at the shop and see Mike but fuck it's hard. I wanted this so much and I was so proud of the work we did here but I know in my heart that even if I could go back I couldn't. David Bowie died. I left for reasons that haven't changed, personal ones, and they've moved forward. I don't even joke about the place being much improved without me because I look around and...fuck, it is. Well, it looks better at least. Can't find my W2 so he prints me off a halfass W2 and we wait to see if Katie picks up about where my real one is. I wait around. See a couple of old customers. Only one of them acknowledges/recognizes me. Mike tries to introduce me to one of my replacements for the third time. I was going to help with tabs if I had time but she has them finished. I'm not needed here. I've got to leave to make closing on time so no proper W2, instead I give them the address the post office doesn't think exists. Fingers crossed haha. No time to swing by dump much less back by the house so if anybody wants a free rug, a shovel, a gas can, or Castle Greyskull, to name a few, they're up for grabs now. My beloved shovel. I was proud to buy that stupid thing, it was a real tool that real homeowners used and I had already used it a bunch. Much like the whole "buying a home" adventure the shovel turns out to be something I thought I could have but turns out not yet, not quite yet.

David Bowie died.

Closing turns out to be signing and initialing about 30 forms and then it's over, maybe six minutes. Our realtor is someone we tried to become good friends with after we bought the house and that just didn't pan out. She feels bad but I won't let her lower her commission. That means all told we're leaving this adventure at least 2500 in the hole, not counting the money from the initial downpayment we didn't see a return on at all....It's a shit deal but it's the best we could get, sitting on the house for longer means coming up with an extra 1200 a month out of our No Income and really means even a potential jackpot offer would have been diminishing returns by then. I eat a bowl of protein and stop for gas. Speaking of jackpots, fuck it, I have two dollars...And before I leave Atlanta for the last time for a long time (months? years?) I whip through Del Taco because we don't have one near us. I'm stocking up on that one burrito she likes. I'd get my burrito but well it won't travel or reheat well because of potatoes in it. I am listening to The Martian. David Bowie died.

Now everything's done. I have nothing to do but think. The deeper into The Martian it gets and the more he wants to play with time and perspective the more dramatic the shift in the writing, and sometimes it approaches a Weird Fantasy level of overwroughtness or a Whedonlike In A Bad Way clippy and referential familiarity. I'm on my own descent trip now and fuck I guess David Bowie's on his. So while I'm working out how I feel about this book let's see how I feel about David Bowie dying. People are talking like this was an utter shock, and it was surprising, true, but like him having cancer was a thing, right? I thought that was common knowledge. And while this sucks a lot he was going to die before too long anyway really, being at the far end of the Studio 54 life expectancy. No one thought he'd live forever

but it's shocking that he's dead because it means he's never going to move forward any more, he's never going to reinvent himself or recontextualize a musical movement or elevate some protoge or unjustly obscure talent again, never going to challenge notions of sex or gender or beauty or fairness or even comedy again. It is far less startling to realize that David Bowie died in the cosmic sense because nobody thought he'd just keep on living. Far more startling is the realization that David Bowie won't continue being David Bowie. I...don't think any of us ever considered that as a concrete consequence.

Fuck. David Bowie died. Monday night is for drinking some Cutty Sark I can't afford and some alcoholic root beers left over from a couple weeks ago and eating leftovers and deliberately not watching football because that will just feel like Christmas part 7. Instead we're fast-forwarding through the Golden Globes and god what a miserable looking time, even the people winning awards seem pissed to be here. Tom Hanks starts to make a point and then stops at one point and it's just enough of a point about pioneering and excellence and consistency and change to remind me David Bowie died.

When it's over I realize how sleepy I am, how sore I am, and how drunk I am. Time to nod off for some crazy sex dreams and then go to work at my construction warehouse job over and over with nothing to show for it before waking up and realizing, shit, I don't even have that any more. Morning is dishes, preparing to make chili, and reading articles/watching videos from people remembering David Bowie. (I'm reminded of when Terry Pratchett died because I'd like to know where were all these other people saying Hunky Dory is their favorite Bowie album before he died, because I have felt very alone in that for a lot of conversations.)

Apparently people are very excited about the 5e OGL and Dungeon Masters Guild adventures. Instead I look at all the unfinished drafts and notes on my dashboard and all the Santicore waiting on me and....man that all seems heavy. So heavy. I can't imagine going to all the effort of lifting that weight but for Wales, Richard? We all have bullshit. We all keep going. What are we keeping going for? To be the selves we were? To be a self passable for another at a distance? To stay the selves we are, or even to be the selves we can become which is reasonably attainable? Man that's a waste of struggle.

David Bowie died. Have you I??