This weird new wave fandom culture of bullying the creators of the thing you like is so strange. The original creators are supposed to be the most respected people in a fandom. And I’m sure at some point before the internet dark ages creators were like “man, I sure wish I had a way to be accessible to my loyal fans!” and now most creators are like “I only have a Twitter because how many Twitter followers I have is an indicator to potential employers/publishers/producers of my built-in fanbase. Everytime I post a tweet I’m secretly scared to death it will be misconstrued beyond my intentions or control.”
my friend has been dealing with some mental shit for the past couple months. Like bad stuff. One of his friends passed away. He had a bad breakup with his gf. Its hard for me bc i sit there and listen to his problems even if I don’t want to. But I know I have to. Because if I dont, who will? I’m happy I can be there for him. Mental health is so stigmatized among men and I know there are so many other guys that don’t have the support they need. I know. Bc I was there
When you’re creating a race of people for your new world, you need a culture to give those people and their way of life some context. The culture helps determine how the characters act, dress, eat, solve problems, among so many other things. You can (and sometimes, should) have multiple cultures in your world, depending on how large your focus area is. Cultures affect each other, but also serve in a narrative sense to draw contrast in-world and to draw parallels to the reader’s world.
So here are some thoughts, big and small, that are meant to help inspire you as you create amazing cultures. (And remember that you’re thinking about the following questions in the context of the general population, not your main character(s).) You can simply answer these questions in short-answer form, or you can write a short story to flesh out one or two or three questions at once. If you do that, submit them to me! I’d love to feature them on the blog.
How old do people believe their race is? How old are they really?
How prevalent are religions to the common person?
What is/are the origin stories of the main religion(s)?
What do most people think should be the highest priority:
How do culturally shared priorities shape interactions?
What is the common greeting? Does it vary by age, class, rank, or sect?
How is gender viewed by the majority? Why?
What are common myths/legends of your people and how heavily do they influence the modern day?
How trustful are people of outsiders?
How welcoming are people, in general, of strangers into their homes?
How well do people of various factions (class, race, religion, etc.) get along in society?
How far has technology advanced, and how has it been implemented into their daily lives?
If magic exists, what do they believe is its origin? Its source?
If there is division between magic/non-magic, how do the two treat each other and why? How long has it been that way?
What sort of relationship do they have with their ruler?
How content is the average person?
How do people make their living and how big a part of their life is their career (if applicable)?
Do they have “weekends” and if so, what sets them apart from “weekdays”?
How do they treat their close friends?
How do they treat their enemies?
How do they handle small conflict, between individuals or small groups?
How do they handle larger conflicts?
How are they prepared for any potential war? Do they have some sort of military or militia in place?
How many wars have they, as a society, fought over the course of their lives/history? How much of an impact does that have on their cultural identity? (i.e. WW2′s impact on patriotism in America, and how it’s yet to go away.)
What virtues do they value in individuals? What virtues do they say they value? If those are different, why?
How do they dress? Does it vary greatly by gender, or not? Is their focus on clothing very practical, religious, sentimental, or simply driven by the latest arbitrary fashion? How do the above answers reflect on the culture on a deeper level?
How do they treat their elderly?
How do they treat their children?
At what age does a baby become a child, a child a young adult, a young adult an adult, an adult an elder?
How much regulation does the day-to-day life of the average citizen entail? Or, how involved is the government in micro affairs?
How are these people seen throughout their known world? How do other cultures view this culture?
-Mild to severe hallucinations
-Innapropriate emotional reactions
-Hypersexuality v no libido changing constantly
-So many thoughts in your head it’s just a roaring buzzing noise and all you can do is cry
-Noticing literally everything, whether it’s things passing by, what everyone around you says no matter how far, how people react or say things, mood changes, how things feel, how another person’s hands feel because they just touched something dirty and didn’t wash up
-Sudden selective mutism
-Nightmares every single time you sleep
Hey, it’s Cohen. Ash, our Associate Producer who usually runs these, is at E3 this week, so I’m doing the introduction. There was also a weird Affable Karkat vibe when he was answering this own questions, so I rewrote them a little. Here goes:
Obviously people sorta know you if they’ve been reading these interviews, but for the sake of the thing: What’s your name, and what do you do on the Hiveswap team?
Hello there! My name is Ash Paulsen, and I’m the Associate Producer on Hiveswap. As a producer, my basic role on the project is to help organize and sync up each department’s workflow while also facilitating effective interdepartmental communication. In layman’s terms: it’s my job to make everyone else’s jobs easier and do all the “in-between” stuff to help bring the game to the finish line, and that means I do whatever needs doing – which can vary from day to day!
How’d you get your start on Hiveswap?
This is actually a surprisingly straightforward story. Basically, What Pumpkin was looking to fill a producer position on Hiveswap, and luckily they were pointed in my direction by a mutual friend and colleague. So What Pumpkin then reached out to me via email, and I happened to be looking to take the next step in my career at the time. I then began a brief trial period as a part-time producer on Hiveswap to ascertain if the position would be an ideal fit for me. After a while, I was very graciously welcomed into the What Pumpkin family as a full-time producer – I must have impressed them somewhere along the way, and I’m happy I did!
Yeah, absolutely. Having a dedicated person for the work you’ve been doing has made my life easier. You’ve got some experience in 2D animation and video game production specifically, right?
My first production-related job came by way of Nickelodeon Animation several years ago, where I worked for about a year and a half as a Production Assistant on the Butch Hartman cartoons The Fairly OddParents! and T.U.F.F. Puppy. (Prior to that, I’d been working as a Game Master at Nexon – the developer of MapleStory – so this was a huge jump!) I later left Nickelodeon for a full-time position as the Senior Editor at UDON Entertainment, a publisher and art collective specializing in video game and anime art books. Somewhere along the way, I ended up taking on a second gig as an Associate Producer at ShiftyLook, where I got to help make super cool webcomics and web cartoons out of old-school, dormant Bandai Namco Games IPs, such as Bravoman and Wonder Momo.
It was that ShiftyLook job that reminded me just how much I loved producing and wanted to get back into it, so I put some feelers out there and when I was lucky enough to have What Pumpkin come knocking, I was ready to seize the opportunity!
Do you have any advice for someone looking to get into production? I don’t mean me, of course–it wasn’t until we brought you on that I realized how much production work I’d been doing as a matter of necessity, and I don’t want to go back to that life–but just, y’know. Tips and tricks for any aspiring producers.
In terms of advice for launching into a production career, I would say that a self-starter mentality and an honest willingness to take on pretty much any task – no matter how boring or menial – are key. I find that’s the best way to let people know you’re a team player and, in turn, get noticed! If something needs doing, just step up and do it! If you don’t know how to do it, ask questions, but do it nonetheless.
Yeah, including, when you’re not at E3, running these interviews. Speaking of, do you have any favorite games?
For someone who plays as many video games as I do – I’ve been an avid gamer since the original Super Mario Bros. captured my heart when I was just five years old – this is a surprisingly easy answer! My favorite game of all time is Chrono Trigger, a Super Nintendo JRPG you’ve probably heard of once or twice. That game is the total package: a gripping story, memorable characters, killer battle system, legendary soundtrack, and some of the Super Nintendo’s very best graphics. I think my favorite thing about Chrono Trigger is that the narrative can be as complex or as light as you want it to be; if you want to enjoy it as a simple time-traveling romp, you can do that and it’s great. But if you want to read between the lines and really dive into the lore where things get pretty dark and sophisticated, you can play it that way too and it’s even better in my opinion. It’s a game you can enjoy on your own terms, and for that reason and so many more, I just adore CT. My second and third favorites behind that are Okami and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.
I just recently finished the Switch versions of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Blaster Master Zero, and Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap, and right now I’m playing Horizon: Zero Dawn and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Looking ahead, I am unbelievably, ridiculously hyped for Sonic Mania and Kingdom Hearts III!
Do you pull any inspiration from those for your production work on Hiveswap?
Not in particular… I can’t think of much crossover between gaming and production work, either in terms of the skills required or really at all. I suppose there’s some tenuous connection between, like, turn-based strategy RPGs and project management, but even that’s reaching a bit.
Besides, working on Hiveswap is its own form of inspiration: I have the privilege of working with a team of wildly talented, creative folks on a daily basis, and when you’re surrounded by that much awesome every day, it’s hard not to be inspired to work harder and smarter!
Since this is a remote team, we’ve had people describe their workstations, which has been fun. What’s yours like?
I don’t really have a particular workstation, if that makes sense. Mine is mostly the kind of work that can be done anywhere as long as I have my laptop (I run with a MacBook Pro) and an Internet connection, so my workstation is generally wherever I want or need to be that day. Oftentimes that means a local coffee shop because I don’t fancy staying cooped up in my apartment alone every day, but if I have a full day of meetings I’ll usually stay home. The same ambient noise I go to coffee shops to enjoy tends to become a major liability when people are trying to hear you in a Google Hangout or Skype meeting!
Yeah, I can confirm that, having been in those meetings before you started staying home for them. What about music? Do you like to listen to anything while you’re working?
I constantly listen to music while I work – lots and lots of video game music! Game music has been my jam since I started burning line-out recordings of sound test menus to CDRs as a kid. (Not even kidding. The ‘90s, baby!) Usually it’s upbeat, driving chiptune anthems like the sort you hear in Mega Man games and other retro platformers like Shovel Knight, but I also love orchestral VGM like Final Fantasy soundtracks. In fact, Yoko Shimomura – composer of the Kingdom Hearts games, among so many others – is my favorite musician of all time! I also listen to original chip music and a ton of EDM (electronic dance music, which encompasses so many other sub-genres) as well. I’ll give anything a chance, really!
Anything else you want to say to fans?
I’m genuinely appreciative of and humbled by the opportunity to leave my stamp on a universe as singularly compelling and bizarre as Homestuck. Despite my being a relative newcomer to the project and the wider Homestuck community, bringing Hiveswap to the finish line in a form that delivers on your expectations means the world to me and I take my role in that process very seriously. I’m really, really happy to be here!
Is there anywhere people can see more of your work?
As I touched on briefly earlier, I’m one of the GameXplain crew! If you’ve not heard of us, we’re a Nintendo-focused YouTube channel closing in on 800,000 (!) subscribers, though we also cover PlayStation and Xbox titles when time allows. You can find a link to our channel right here, where you’ll hear me yapping away in all sorts of discussions, previews, reviews, news updates, and more!
We’ll have Ash and the regular format back next week.
I know it seems dumb to be outraged over a tv show, but this is so much more.
Sense8 highlighted so many important issues: transphobia, religious intolerance, and abuse among others. It had a diverse cast and traveled all over the world to both showcase each character’s worlds in the most realistic way and to bring appreciation to the multitudes of cultures and ways of life that walk this earth.
In a society where media often glosses over minorities and their stories, this was such an intricate show that allowed me to relate to the characters in a way that most shows will never be able to capture.
Diverse shows such as Sense8 and The Get Down are being canceled in favor of shows like 13 Reasons Why. There’s no competition and no question about why. White people and their stories are being valued more.
Sense8 was truly beautiful and did not deserve to be canceled. Especially not on the first day of pride month, something this show brought to the forefront with a supportive cast, multiple LGBTQ+ characters, and Pride marches.
“I march to remember that I’m not just a me but I’m also a we. And we march with pride.” -Nomi Marks (Sense8 S1, Ep 2)
can i request a hansol x reader smut where you lose your virginity to him and vice versa - preferably in a situation where you've only been dating for a short time and since you live abroad and have to travel back soon, hansol shyly feels you have to get together asap ( i hope it's not too much (＞人＜;) )
I hope I got this right and that you enjoy this bb! ;u;
» If you’re using the tumblr app and can’t see the scenario, which is under a “keep reading”, please try opening the post in your phone’s internet browser (or a computer)! 💕
» 4,256 words
Hansol was everything you were looking for in a person. He was kind, funny, had good manners, shared a lot of your values and, above everything and among so many other things you loved about him, you felt incredibly comfortable around him.
You had first met during your year abroad in South Korea, where he had been one of the first people to approach you, which you knew to have been because you were, to say the least, lonely at that point, in a new country without more than a handful of people you knew. It felt comforting to have someone approach you as kindly as he did, instead of only forming a shallow acquaintanceship with you, not to mention downright ignoring you.
After your first meeting, it didn’t take too long for you to notice just how pleasant he was to be around, and so you had become friends fairly quickly - and close friends even faster. You had similar experiences, being a bit odd among all the (fully) Korean people, on top of which you had some shared interests and traits.
And even if you hadn’t shared those, as long as your personalities clicked, nothing else mattered - and your personalities played together perfectly. You spent a lot of time together, studying, going to concerts and hanging out, either with just the two of you or with the small friend group you had established, whether it was at his house or at a café or something similar.
Towards the end of your year abroad you had come to terms with the fact that you had romantic feelings towards Hansol, and were sad to leave, and even when you were back home, you weren’t sure if you were happy or sad because right before you had gotten on the plane, Hansol had taken a hold of your hand and said that he liked you.
Just like that. As his last words to you face to face.
@hella-free-space some bunnies 4 u, since I hear you are lacking them in your life. (Mostly Goober, feat. Duma, Toothbrush, Big Moosh, Moosh Minor, Hob Gadling, and Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, among others :P)
Plus bonus, sO MANY BABIES
I’m probably gonna be selling some babies around the end of the summer/beginning of fall, wink wink nudge nudge, if anyone is interested ;)
Don’t worry anon, I’m a Caps fan too! (Among many others but
Caps are the hometown team) And so here we go! One third of the brobeans! Plus
I’m on a hockey players with children kick so you get a two-for-one! Enjoy
Anon Request: Hi!!! I’ve literally been spending the past
few days reading your imagines and I LOVE them!!! Personally, i’m a caps fan
and if you’re not backed up on requests, do you think you could do one where
y/n is at a caps game and Tom Wilson has eyes on her the whole game and they
somehow meet after the game or something? Change it any way you’d like!!!
you daughter asked as she sat next to you, coloring.
Prompt: Stiles hating his moles (kids are mean growing up and any differences are shamed) and Derek showing Stiles how perfect (sexy) his moles are. (First time sending a prompt in lmao)
I love this prompt, though I went in a more angsty way than sexy. Also on ao3!
Stiles hated his moles.
Kids can be cruel and any differences are shamed and exploited as weaknesses. Growing up, his classmates had been no exception.
A lifetime of incessant teasing and brutal insults from his peers about the dark marks that were scattered across his skin had taught him to hate the mere sight of them. Even years later, at nineteen, he avoided mirrors, not wanting to see the blemishes that for years he had been ridiculed for.
When he was younger, when his mother was still alive, filling the Stilinski home with laughter and love and so much happiness no matter the occasion, he had loved moles. Had cherished the fact that he so resembled his mother, bearing the same dark beauty marks that adorned her own cheeks.
Every night when his mother tucked him into bed, after reading him his favorite bedtime story, she would tell him that his moles were kisses from an angel, pecking him on the forehead before slipping out of his bedroom to go wait for his dad to get home, ever the dutiful sheriff’s wife. He would dream about angels pressing kisses to newborn babies’ cheeks, moles appearing wherever their lips had been, sprinkling stardust over them for good luck.
After his mother died he stopped believing in angels.
In their place, he started believing the words of the kids in his class when they pushed him down on the playground and called him ugly, when they kicked sand in his eyes and called him a freak because he could never stop talking and fidgeted all the time, even when he took his medication.
When he got older, he already hated his himself―his appearance especially―the callous comments from his classmates, and occasionally even teachers, only exacerbating his self-loathing. Because even without their harsh words and bruising fists, he was convinced he was repulsive, all gangly limbs and pale pasty skin freckled with dark moles.
So it was hard to believe when Derek, Adonis among men, started showing interest in him. But like so many other things in his life, the impossible was very much real.
Wealthy af Magister Pavus spoiling Lavellan rotten. The joy he gets from going and getting his Amatus all these unnecessary, luxurious goodies, and brims with joy whenever he sees him wearing that one little accessory he knew he would love. Consideration goes into each present, and he wraps them himself with fancy bows and paper.
Wealthier than before, but still not as wealthy as Dorian, Lavellan, not knowing what to do with half of the things the mage gives/sends him and worrying that he’s spending too much on the him. Yet, he can’t help feeling reassured of Dorian’s adoration with every little gift. When people compliment one of the gifts, inquiring as to where he got it, he replies proudly; “It was a gift from Magister Pavus.”
When my art teacher said our next project was to paint one of our heroes, I knew that @thatsthat24 was the only candidate for mine. I’ve mentioned before how much he means to myself among so many others and how much he does for everyone he reaches, and that still holds strong to this day. So thank you Thomas, for doing what you do.
(Also I chose red as soon as I found out that it was his favourite colour)
“I’m too sober for this.”
17. “Good thing I didn’t ask for your opinion.”
Summary: Your best friend,
whom you definitely are not in love with is having cat troubles, so you consult the expertise of one Kim Taehyung. (Harry Potter AU)
Your best friend, Namjoon, is the sort of wizard who really stands out in a crowd. It’s not because of his gargantuan height or his stunningly good looks, although that does help. It’s not even his innately clumsy nature, no; Kim Namjoon stands out because he exudes an aura of self-assurance and confidence (although not quite up to Slytherin standards). Although lately, this confidence of his, funnily enough, comes crumbling down the minute the Gryffindor prefect is around his cat, Mimi.
Mimi is a beauty, to say the least, with her fluffy white coat that looks like it’s dusted with snowflakes. However, she is also extremely picky about who can pet her, and for some reason, Namjoon isn’t really one of her favourite people at the moment. The boy himself is puzzled by what seems to be a recent development, according to what he’s told you.
What are the bald realities of traveling with the bros? Things like, who takes all the hot water? Who hogs the covers? Who spends the longest getting ready? Who has the worst gas? Who will take a piss literally anywhere? Who finishes everyone else's uneaten food? Who picks and flicks? Who do you NOT want to follow when they're done with the toilet? Who forgot to put in deodorant today? (I think about road trip realities too much)
Oh god, this is good.
- Noctis wins the award for longest to get ready, naturally.
He tries to sleep in until the very last minute. Every. Single. Time.
- He’s tied with Gladio on who smells the worst. He’s not
stuck at the Citadel where he’s gotta be cleaned and well-groomed and lookin’
like Picture Perfect Prince. He’s gonna get messy and he doesn’t care.
- Boy’s got no shame when they’re out in the middle of nowhere.
Will piss anywhere. The other guys have walked past him without paying
attention while he’s peeing enough times to realize that they should probably
ask if they see Noct standing alone somewhere before they get any closer. It’s
- Will sleep anywhere. Has fallen asleep leaning against a
tree so many times that it’s now a rule among the other guys for one of them to
nudge him if they see him starting to doze off. Naptime is for when they’re in
the tent or in the Regalia. No exceptions.
- Hogs all of the covers. You’d think it’s Noct, but it’s
Prompto. He wants to be in a blanket burrito and goddammit he will become that
blanket burrito at all costs
- It’s kinda cute at first. He gets cold easily. Doesn’t
mean the others aren’t annoyed when he not so sneakily yanks a blanket from one
of them in the middle of the night.
- Tied with Ignis for getting up earliest. His reason is for
taking pictures while Iggy’s is cooking.
- PICKS AND FLICKS, FART MACHINE, STINKIEST OF THE BOYS.
- He’s a soldier – this comes with the territory. If he’s
outside with nobody but a couple of other guys around, he doesn’t give a shit.
- …Don’t go to the bathroom after him. Just don’t. Especially
after he’s eaten really spicy Cup Noodles. Your nose and stomach will thank you
- “Look if you’re not going to finish that just let Prompto
and I split it”
- Contrasting Gladio, he smells –too much- like cologne.
When they’re out, they don’t get a lot of time to bathe, so Iggy just cakes the
cologne on. It’s not pleasant, even if the scents in moderation are wonderful.
Cologne’s supposed to attract people Specs, not chloroform them.
- Takes all the hot water. Hogs it. Prompto tries to get as
much as Iggy does but he loses every single time.
- Will purposely try to dab some of his cologne on Gladio
and Noctis while they’re sleeping so they smell at least a little bit
tolerable. They get pissed when they find out what Iggy has been trying to do.
- Tries to organize everything while they’re packing up to
leave a campsite and takes FOREVER. Tied with Noct for taking the longest amount
of time to get ready to go.
I recognize my privilege as a white male in this country. I can only speak for myself when I say I am truly sorry. I know this will massively impact our country as a whole, but I worry specifically, that it will deeply affect women, poc, lgbt+, Muslims, etc. I’m only hoping that all our progress as a society and as a species can continue to reflect the way many of us feel, even when our president will disregard and try to take back what we’ve achieved for equality, among so many other things, in this nation.
I am not sure what to say, other than I am an ally to all people who face discrimination today and are still fighting for their rights. And that I will fight with you.
This is something I have been trying to write for months and months. Forgive me if it goes astray from being coherent or making sense… but the last however long it’s been amount of months that I have been absent from your life has been a time of paradoxical strangeness, indifference and outright mental solitude and exhibition at the same time. I write in a way in which I am comfortable.. so if it seems outlandish, false or full of hyperbole then I apologize. At this moment in life, the catharsis of just putting these words finally out is already doing much towards my recovery.
This is for you… but more so for me.
“…this war-ship is sinking, and I still believe in anchors pulling fist fulls of rotten wood from my heart, I still believe in saviors but I know that we are all made out of shipwrecks, every single board washed and bound like crooked teeth…”
I suppose I should begin by apologizing, mostly to those who cared for me most.. those whom which I was deeply engaged with in one way or another, those who most likely felt abandoned upon my swift exit. I am truly sorry… and while apologies are words fleeting off into eternity, and while I could sit and try to explain myself, I don’t know how much it would matter. You can however take the absolutely barren feeling deep within my guts as an indication of how I feel about the impact I know i potentially caused.
Sometimes what is most necessary in our lives is not what is comfortable or even right to others. Sometimes our greatest triumphs come from our worst tragedies. Sometimes you just cannot explain yourself, your actions, or your feelings in a way that makes sense to others. And that’s ok.
I didn’t know at the time how much and in what ways that grief would affect me. Unfortunately for others, it affected me in a way that ripped me out of everything from my comfort zone to my existence in your life. In all my endless diatribes and moments of influence and advice, I always advocated that it was okay to show weakness… to lean on those who love you, and in that moment when the reality of my own situation came into fruition… I failed.
I failed to realize that it would be alright for me to show myself as vulnerable, and I failed to lean on you for the comfort and support I so desperately needed at the time. I failed you and everyone else who needed me most, and when I needed you all most I walked away and rejected what was openly available to me. For that… I am truly sorry.
To ask where I have been… is to look into the ocean.
“….always running out of fight so I’ve carved a wooden heart, put it in this sinking ship hoping it would help me float for just a few more weeks because I am made out of shipwrecks, every twisted beam lost and found like you and me scattered out on the sea…”
My life has been a raging crashing tempest, mixed with medication.. ups, downs, failures, progress and revelations. I never realized a person and their death from this earth could crush me the way it did.. especially given the circumstances. I spend so much time keeping myself shrouded in mystery and carefully constructed walls.. so I will be as transparent as possible.
Prior to his death, I had not spoken to him in a major amount of years. I had no resolve for the events of my childhood… for his absence in my life… for the things he did and did not do, and everything else in between. Like many and perhaps most reading this, my parents ended their marriage when I was rather young. What followed was years of ignorance, years of not knowing my worth to anyone… years of solitude and quest for significance. Along the way there were flimsy glimmers of hope… a random card here, a 20 dollar bill there, a passing wave while walking down the street… but otherwise he was content to his own, and I soon became to mine.
As I grew older I developed this sense that I would never really know him, and in his final years I so desperately wanted to. Letter after letter.. call after call… all unanswered… all ignored.. and these fleeting blurry memories in my mind. The last time I saw him, he hugged me and told me he was proud of me. He smiled that big smile… and told me he would call.
6 years of silence later, I saw him again for the first time… laying in a bed half covered and struggling for life. No one told me he had been sick, no one informed me that he had but moments to live. There are many would haves… could haves.. should haves…
there are many never dids, never weres and now.. never will be.
I never got to speak with him because he was never awake. I simply sat there that day clutching his large hands, softly stroking his falling out white hair… and wishing he would wake up and give me that huge smile… that his blue eyes like oceans would gaze at me. Every time I tried to leave that room, I couldn’t… I kept turning back. “He’s going to wake up 5 seconds after I’m gone.”… I had to be physically restrained and removed.
And he didn’t wake up.
The funeral was overwhelming. Public. And that’s when everything was learned…
How this person who was a ghost to me most of my life was so much to so many other people. How he was a superhero among his community and the communities of others. How he had helped so many other children, families and friends… how valued he was to everyone except me. Even the governor showed up.. the news… the papers.. … amongst the literal close to a thousand others who did to be washed in the media circus and the aftermath of a life that I was now finding out was actually well lived. Each with a story about him. Each with a laugh. Each with a smile.
But not me. All I had was a hastily put together book of pictures and clippings and remembrances. And even that would be taken from me.
In the end I was left with nothing… and now all these months later…
I still have nothing. And all I want is closure. And it is something that I will never have.
“….we only have what we remember…”
I returned home and immediately went into grief counseling the same day. I fired my therapist for a new one.. I became medicated,… I took advice… changed the things in my life.. my eating.. my feelings.. got a therapy dog.. I did what I was told, advised and ordered.. fired my therapist again… and so forth and so on…. and I needed some time away.
But the more time I spent away, the further I slipped into myself… the further I slipped away from you, and this, and everything important to my life. The more guilty I felt for leaving… the more overwhelmed I became by the thoughts that everyone would be angry at me.. and the longer I was gone, the more I pushed myself farther.
Sometimes a person can live with such regret for their actions that it causes them to perform them more.
I never expected any of this.
I never expected to feel the way I did. to end up how I did. to be gone so long. to be so isolated and gone. I didn’t feel worthy of having others depend on me for anything when I felt like I was nowhere near able to be dependable. My strength had been robbed.. my ability to be this strong pillar of value had gone away.
This one person in my life, who was never really in my life… affected it in such a way as to completely separate me from everything I knew and loved and my entire existence and made me question beyond reason… and I will never have the answers I need. I crave. I deserve… Yes, therapy has been going great… yes I have made many strides.. yes, I have changed in many ways… but…
Its taken a really long time to find myself here again. To even consider myself able to be here.
Things still aren’t even anywhere close to how I want them to be mentally and emotionally… and they probably never will be. Because he cannot wake up to explain this life I have endured to me… he wont wake up to give me closure.
They say that everyone grieves in their own way. I chose to make mine destructive to others by cutting the snake off at its head… I just didn’t realize how it would affect anyone in my life it until it was too late.
And then I woke up yesterday… and felt I was able to sit down… and do what I had been wanting to do for a very long time.
And then, I logged into my tumblr for the first time in 9 months…
“…Your hand in mine, my fingers in your veins connected our bones grown together inside our hands entwined, your fingers in my veins braided our spines grown stronger in time because our church is made out of shipwrecks from every hull these rocks have claimed but we pick ourselves up, and try and grow better through the change so come on y'all and let’s wash each other with tears of joy and tears of grief and fold our lives like crashing waves and run up on this beach…”
I spent the better part of my day yesterday going through 2000+ messages I have received since March. The well wishes, the love, the thoughts and expressions of gratitude. the pictures, the stuffies, the hundreds of PM’s… the puppies and kitties..the boobs, the butts, the smiles, the drawings.. the socks and knee highs.. the physical exhibitionist expressions of gratitude… the hamsters and snakes and gerbils..the anons and the faithful.. . the continuing follows and questions and request for bedtime stories.. the small paragraphs from those whose lives had been utterly changed just by spending 15 minutes reading my material… those who discovered me while i was gone and had their lives changed instantly.… the fact that on a daily basis I am still getting all of these, even though I have been an apparition for the better part of almost a year…. and for the first time since March, I felt sparks of Daddy space flickering inside of me. Since March I have been totally empty and desolate.
I discovered in my submissions, asks and pm section… in the 2000+ followers gained while I was away.. People still continue to care about me.. to wonder… to keep me in their thoughts. a truly humbling feeling considering that I expected to log in for the first time since March and see nothing but disappointment from everyone. I expected people to feel like I didn’t care about them. and that is absolutely not true at all. I laughed and cried.. I felt regret… I felt guilt and shame… I felt happiness and love… my jaw hit my desk a few times.. and ultimately I figured out that I do still matter. But then I don’t really know if I do…
It all just leaves me asking for forgiveness… mainly for falling off for so long. mainly because I know the effects it had.. mainly because I feel absolutely wrecked and sick about it all.
But what comes from pain and suffering is what you create from that pain and suffering. What is left over is what you decide. Its not easy, its not simple. Believe me.. my life is anything but simple in these last 9 months… but I discovered that this lifestyle will never leave me, even if I leave it. It will always be there, because it is who I am. It is what I am. It is everything I have ever been… so should I come back? Should I… even be worthy of returning?
I guess I will wait and see… because this blog was always for you. the littles.. the daddies.. the struggling.. the hurt… the lost.. the broken and distraught. The ones just like yourself.. and just like me. And despite sometimes being a total jerk.. despite sometimes disappearing… despite all of my own problems… I always did everything I did to better the lives of others in so that they may succeed. I didn’t always achieve that goal.. and sometimes I probably even prevented it.
And I am sorry. Please… please please…. forgive me.
If I could go back to 9 months ago, tell myself then what I know now.. tell myself then how it would all turn out… and give myself that wisdom to be able to handle it all properly, then this would never have been written.
But what’s done is how it was all meant to go down really, and our mistakes are not our failures. They are our lessons. some harder learned than others. cant change the ones I have made.. I can only hope that I will be able to make them right. I edited this writing 7 times over the course of 24 hours… and something in it probably still isn’t right, or doesn’t say what it should… or… is just…. rambling. Some of you may never understand… or, maybe you do all too well. I have no room to judge or say…
“…come on and sew us together, were just tattered rags stained forever… we only have what we remember…”
Mitch teases Auston mercilessly about the bruise on his neck, of course. He rips off the ridiculous-looking scarf Auston ties around his neck in the midst of the late summer heat, knowing exactly what he’s trying to cover up.
Auston’s cheeks flush red, and he chases Mitch around the field to the whooping and hollering of their teammates.
The incident doesn’t lessen his affection towards you, however. Every chance he has, he kisses you. Your days become a collection of hiding around corners, sneaking behind closed doors; grasping at every opportunity to share a private, intimate moment with each other, even if it’s the briefest of moments.
One day, he has you pushed up against the wall in the maintenance closet in the arena. He had grabbed your hand as you were walking out the front door and pulled you into the closet, his lips immediately covering yours.
“Why are you doing this?” You giggle against his lips.
He kisses you sweetly, peppering your face and neck with quick little butterfly kisses that make your cheeks heat up.
“Because,” he whispers, catching the corner of your mouth with his lips. “You’re just too gorgeous not to kiss every moment of the day.”
“Ah, I see how it is. You only like me for my hot body.”
“Mhmm,” he hums against your neck. His hands slide down and squeeze your waist, sending a flash of heat through you. “That, and your beautiful mind.” He pulls his face away, looking you straight in the eye. “And your sense of humour, and your passion for hockey, and determination, and crazy worth ethic, among many other things. I admire you so much, Y/N,” he says sincerely, tucking a strand of hair behind your ear.
“Auston, stop.” You’re blushing furiously.
“Why? You’re an incredible human and I want you to know that.”
“You’re going to make me cry,” you say, your voice thick.
He smiles down at you and wraps his arms around your body, pulling you close. You nuzzle your head into his body, your ear against his chest. His heartbeat quickens slightly. Being here, in his arms, feeling so safe and warm, seems almost surreal. “You’re a pretty incredible human as well,” you say softly.
He kisses the top of your head and murmurs something into your hair that you can’t quite hear.
That Friday, you’re sitting in a daze at a table in the mess hall, Steph across from you. She’s talking, but it’s like you’re underwater and her words are all muffled. A wide grin is stretched across your face - Nancy has just cleared you to go back on the ice tomorrow.
“Y/N? Y/N!” Steph shouts, snapping her fingers. “Hello, anyone home?” She reaches across and pretends to knock on your forehead.
“Sorry, I must’ve zoned out,” you apologize, blinking her back into focus.
“No kidding. I was trying to tell you that I’m going to ask Mitch out today!”
This is news. For the last two weeks, both Steph and Mitch have been flirting relentlessly (to the point where you felt nauseous watching), yet neither of them had been bold enough to make the first move.
“That’s awesome news!” you exclaim. “What’s the plan?”
“Well, when he gets here, I’m going to…” As she delves into a step by step procedure, your mind drifts, as always, to Auston. You’re not sure exactly where you stand with him. Neither of you have made clear what your relationship entails, or what it means, for that matter. There is no label to it, and while that makes some people feel liberated, you feel anxious that whatever you have with him right won’t last for long. You’re not sure how it happened, but you have grown to care immensely about Auston. The concept of not having him in your life kind of scares you.
“Here he comes!”
You look across the mess hall to see Mitch walk through the main doors, with Auston following close behind. They quickly disappear into the serving area to grab food. When they emerge, plates piled high with food (Auston’s fairly healthy, Mitch’s filled with junk and an entire ketchup bottle), Steph waves them over. When Auston sees you sitting opposite to her, his whole expression changes. A smile takes over his face, and he walks briskly towards you.
“Hey there beautiful,” he says, placing his tray down on the table and kissing your cheek.
“Hey there yourself,” you respond quietly as he sits down, slightly confused. Normally he didn’t display any sort of affection towards you in public.
He notices your reserved attitude. “What’s up?”
“We’ll talk about it later, okay?” you whisper back to him and jerk your head towards Steph and Mitch.
“Mitch, could you pass the ketchup please?”
“Sure,” Mitch says through a mouthful of fries, passing the bottle to Steph.
She reaches over and steals his plate, beginning to squeeze the ketchup on top of the fries in a looping motion, forming letters.
“Hey! I was eating those,” Mitch yelps, trying to steal the plate back, but Steph gives him a death glare.
“Wait two seconds, would you?”
When she’s done, she flips the plate around to face Mitch. It reads, in messy handwriting: ‘Go out w me.’ Mitch’s face instantly turns pink.
“So?” Steph asks, her voice cool, but you know she’s anything but on the inside right now.
“That is the best promposal I’ve ever seen,” Mitch jokes, and Steph swats him on the shoulder. “Kidding, I’m kidding. Yes, of course I’ll go out with you.”
“Good.” Steph sounds relieved.
“It was about time, y’know. Camp is already two thirds of the way over, and I was getting a little antsy. I mean, Auston and Y/N are practically married and have two kids and a dog-”
Auston turns to look at you and raises his eyebrows. You shrug your shoulders and roll your eyes.
“You could have just asked me out then, you giant turd,” Steph points out.
You have to cover your mouth to keep yourself from laughing.
“But girls are scary,” Mitch whines.
Him and Steph continue to banter back and forth so loudly it catches the attention of the boys sitting to the table on the right.
“Hey, what’s going on between those two?” William Nylander leans over and asks you.
“What’s going on is that you three owe me thirty bucks.”
You nod. Will curses and turns to Connor and Kasperi. “Get your wallets out boys, Stephanie just asked out our boy Mitchell.”
Connor and Kasperi both groan.
“How much was it? Ten?” Kasperi asks, patting his pockets. “I don’t have my wallet on me though.”
“Yeah, ten dollars. And that’s fine, just make sure I get my money by practice tomorrow!”
“Deal,” Kasperi says, and the rest of the guys nod in agreement.
“Practice tomorrow?” Auston whispers in your ear.
You twist around to face him, a smile spreading across your face. “Yeah. Nancy finally cleared me today!”
Auston’s entire face lights up. “That’s amazing news!” He gives you a giant hug, crushing your head into his chest. When he lets go, you can hardly breathe. “You must be so excited.”
You cough. “On second thought, I might not be cleared for tomorrow. I think you just gave me a concussion.”
“Oh, hush. I’m so happy for you.”
“Happy for me, or happy that I’m back so you can hit me with the puck again?”
“Y/N, I promise I will try not to bruise you anymore.” He leans in closer and whispers in your ear, “but I can’t promise about other types of bruises.”
The look he gives you makes you go hot from head to toe. “Shut-up Matthews,” you say, shoving him playfully away from you.
It’s later on that day. Steph and Mitch have taken off in his car to go for dinner and ice cream, and so you’ve been left alone in your room. To pass the time, you’ve been re-watching old tapes of your games that your dad had filmed on his little camcorder, analyzing what you could improve in your gameplay. Since you’ve missed nearly two week’s worth of ice time, you need to be mentally sharp for tomorrow morning.
You stretch and yawn as you check the time on your phone. 8:04pm. Still too early to go to bed, but you’ve just finished your last tape and you have nothing else to do. Maybe you’ll go for a walk or something.
You’re rummaging around in your suitcase for a pair of headphones to take with you when your phone chimes. You give up the search and pick up your phone. Hopefully Mitch hasn’t done something stupid and Steph needs rescuing. But when you hit the home button, a text message from Auston pops up.
Auston: Hey what r u doing rn?
You smile and quickly type out a reply.
You:About to go for a walk
You:Want to join? :)
His reply is instantaneous.
Auston: How abt u take a walk to my cabin. Mitch ditched me and I’m bored :(
You:Same here, Steph left me so I’ve been watching old games but ran out of tapes to watch. Will b there in 5 :)
Auston:Can’t wait to see u :)
A shiver of excitement runs through you as you put down your phone, and you spend the next five minutes trying to brush you hair and shakily apply some mascara. You know Auston’s already seen you after hockey, sweaty and bare-faced, but you want to look and feel confident tonight. A spritz of perfume and two outfit changes later, you’re on your way to Auston’s cabin.
You raise your hand to knock on the door but it swings open, revealing a smiling Auston.
“Eager much?” you tease. “I didn’t even have a chance to knock.”
“Oh, be quiet. I saw you checking out your reflection in the glass before you even walked up to the door.”
“Hey! I wanted to make sure I looked good; give a girl a break.”
“You always look good.”
You narrow your eyes, pretending to be mad. “Stop trying to get in my pants, Auston Matthews. Flattery will get you nowhere.”
“Ooh, a challenge.” He winks at you. “Come on in.”
You step through the doorway. The cabin is practically identical to yours and Steph’s, except obviously occupied by two teenage boys. Clothes are piled in the corners, the trash can is on the verge of overflowing, and miscellaneous items are shoved underneath the beds in a hasty effort to make the room appear neater. A vaguely tropical scent crosses your nose and you inhale, trying to place the smell.
“Is that air freshener?”
“Hey, Mitch stinks.”
“You cleaned up for me, didn’t you?” You walk up to Auston and peck him on the lips. “You’re so cute - you didn’t have to do that.”
He blushes. “I didn’t want you to think that I live in squalor - which I do, but you’ve got to keep up appearances, you know.”
“Auston, I have two brothers. Trust me, I know the truth.”
“And here I was, thinking I would impress you.”
“You thought wrong.”
“Well, this night has already gone to shit and you haven’t even been here for five minutes. I give up,” he complains, dramatically splaying out on his bed. “You can just leave now. I’m going to cry myself to sleep.”
“K, bye,” you say, turning on your heel and pretending to leave.
When your hand reaches the doorknob, he calls out: “Wait! I was joking. Please don’t leave.”
“I know, you idiot,” you say, laughing, as you walk back over to him.
“Then why were you about to leave?” he asks, giving you a sad look that melts your heart. “Come here.” He pulls you down to the bed, so that you’re laying on top of his chest.
You stay there for a while, listening to the steady beat of his heart while he plays with your hair.
“Do you want to watch a movie?” he asks softly.
“How? There’s no wifi.”
“Oh, yeah. I forgot,” he says dumbly. “We can just cuddle then.” He lowers his hands from your hair and wraps you up in a hug. “Only if you want, of course.”
“Of course I want to.”
“Okay, good,” he says, and then suddenly rolls over, making you squeal as he brings you with him. Now you’re both on your sides, faces inches apart. His brown eyes are lighter up close.
“Big spoon or little spoon?”
“Either is fine with me,” you say, tapping his nose affectionately.
He smiles, quickly pressing a kiss to your lips. “Okay, I’m big spoon then. I want to hold you.”
You turn over onto your other side, and Auston’s arms wrap around your waist. He tugs you close, so that his hips are pressed into your butt, and his chest is flush with your back.
“This okay?” he murmurs into your hair. He’s so much taller than you that he can rest his chin on the top of your head.
“More than okay,” you reply, snuggling in closer. You feel like you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.