My father used to tell me don’t let one thing define you. Make your mark on the world in many areas. Test the waters and try everything, never settle for what is only familiar. If someone was to look me up in the dictionary you would find in bold letters BOYS as the definition. Lately I had been defined by who I was or at some instances wasn’t dating. I was becoming that girl who the only thing she seemed to have going for her was what guy’s arm she was on. The girl who’s main focus was her love life. It was my own fault. I had placed too much importance on the love in my life that I was forgetting other aspects that made me me. Don’t get me wrong love is important and it should be held in a high regard. But that doesn’t mean you ignore the other parts. Superman loved Lois Lane with all his heart but had he made her his only concern the world would have been pretty screwed. Spider-man’s love for Mary Jane was epic but he knew with great powers came great responsibility. This meant being responsible for a whole city not just one girl. Boys would forever be a part of my life that was undeniable. They’d most likely be the most complicated part but I didn’t want it to consume me. I wanted to shed some light on the other areas of my life that had been hidden in the shadows.
This may be surprising but I didn’t always want to write advertorials for whatever drug the pharmaceutical companies were peddling. I didn’t dream of describing how some of the side effects include vomiting and dizziness. As you know I originally wanted to grow up to be a super hero. At about 15 I realized that wasn’t possible (I also believed in Santa Clause until I was 12 and thought chocolate milk came from brown cows til I was 10, I’m gullible). After my dreams of super hero stardom were crushed I needed to rethink my career path. I loved comic books and thought perhaps there was a way my dream of being a superhero wasn’t completely off the table. At first I tried drawing. I’ll admit I had some talent. However I quickly learned that tracing was a skill that was frowned upon in the industry. With drawing out of the question I turned to writing. I tried to write the next V for Vendetta or Sin City. But all I could come up with were sappy love stories that always ended with the hero getting the girl. Very predictable and boring, two things a comic book doesn’t want to be. I was enjoying writing but I realized my future business card would not say comic writer. It was at that point that I started with a diary. I wrote ever last detail of my life. At 15 you can guess how interesting that was. But it didn’t matter. Regardless of the fact that the most interesting thing that happened to me back then was winning third place in my local comic shops trivia night, I loved writing about it. I had found what I wanted to do with my life. However sometime between then and now I started writing less about the things I loved and more about the things that would pay my rent. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I decided it was time to change that. I went out bought myself a journal, that’s what women in their late 20’s call a diary, and haven’t stopped writing since. That’s not to say those advertorials are all bad, in fact it was there that I learned about Tastes of the World food tour that was happening in my neighborhood. The perfect experience to add to my story.
I wouldn’t categorize myself as adventurous that’s not to say I’m boring. If I had to pick where I fell on that line I’d say I’m floating somewhere near the middle. When it comes to eating however I’m so far on the boring side I practically live there, and I’m running for mayor. Since I was little I was a picky eater. I knew what I liked and didn’t see the need to venture out and try something new and scary. That sounds very similar to my dating life as well. My mom tried everything to break me out of my food shell. She hid mushrooms in my mashed potatoes, I just picked them out. She tried rewarding me with a cookie if I tried something new, I just skipped the trying and went straight for the cookie. Nothing worked. I liked what I liked and that was that. Eventually she gave up and I lived in my happy little food world where everything tasted how I liked it and nothing ever changed. I stayed there for many years. Occasionally I was coaxed out but I always quickly retreated to my safe space. It wasn’t until my time with Chris where I started to open up to all the tastes and flavors I had been living without. I remember one night we had gone out to some local restaurant in Windenburg. The special that night was spiced lamb in a curry glaze. Chris ordered it and I ordered my usual chicken salad with a vinaigrette on the side. I don’t know if it was his charming smile or those damn eyes but Chris somehow got me to try his dish. At first I was taken back with all the flavors in my mouth but then something strange happened I went back for another bite and then another. By the time the waiter came to check on us I had eaten most of Chris’ dish leaving him with my sad plain salad. From that day on I never turned away a new dish. Every new bite was like meeting a new friend.
There were many reasons to remember the night of the Tastes of the World food tour. Some very fond and others not so much, more on that later. That night was when I met Lilith. Since moving to San Myshuno I was having no trouble meeting any and every guy connected to a super hero movie produced in the last 20 years. But surprisingly for as many fake super studs I was adding to my dating calendar, I had yet to pencil in any new friends. Making friends had always been a little challenging for me. Growing up with girls who would rather read Tiger Beat then Batman, it was hard to find much in common. My friends when I was younger were the people I read about in my comic books. If I needed advice from someone who could relate to being a girl growing up in a world they didn’t quite fit into I had Wonder Woman to go to. If I was looking for a friend who always knew how to make me laugh even after I’ve had the worst day, Archie and the gang were there. When I was feeling like I was the only one of my kind, that no one else would ever understand me, I had a whole team of X-Men who knew what I was going through. Comic books were not only a form of entertainment for me they were my best friends. As I grew older and the kids in my town got cooler, or maybe I just looked a little harder, I found a few real people I could call friends. I kept in touch with some of them and I have Ryan but I felt their was this empty spot in my current life that could only be filled by a new friend. Someone I could talk to about all the crazy guy drama in my life. Someone who would tell me to stop feeling sorry for myself and enjoy all the men I had throwing themselves at me. Someone who would be there when all those guys broke my heart. That someone turned out to be Litith. She was mysterious, sarcastic, and wore too much black eye shadow for her complexion. She was perfect.
With new friends come new challenges. How much of yourself do you reveal right off the bat? Do you agree to things you might normally never do so that you seem less lame? The answer to the second question for me was yes. I’ve only done drugs once in my life, a mistake I never wanted to make again. It was at a college party. I had only gone because my roommate begged me to go with her, yet proceeded to ditch me the second we got there. My excuse for being there had left me so there was no reason for me to hang around. I was heading for the door when I was stopped by who I thought was the most gorgeous guy I had ever seen. Looking back on it now he’d still fall somewhere in the top 5. What happened next was awful and I hate myself for it being part of my story but I promised myself I would retell everything as it was. The guy (I never even learned his name) was shocked to learn that I was planning on leaving the party early and did everything in his power to get me to stay. Honestly all he had to do was just ask, I would have done anything for him at that moment. So with little convincing I put my plans to leave on hold and followed my new friend to get some drinks. He played the part of handsome stranger to a tee. He made sure no one bumped into me as we made our way to somewhere more private, he told how he had never seen me on campus before because he would have certainly remembered me, and lastly he offered to get the drinks while I saved our spot on the only free couch we could find. The rest is a tale too commonly told among the college community. Lucky for me it didn’t end the way far too many of these stories end. I wasn’t aware my first time with drugs was my first time but it’s one that I will never forget.
Have you ever had an outer body experience? A time where you felt like you were watching someone else take over your body because the things you were doing couldn’t possibly be you. If you had asked me a week before if I believed in such things I would have laughed in your face. I would have slowly walked away from you hoping to put as much space between myself and the crazy person. However now I’m a believer because that’s exactly what happened that night. Remember how I said there were some memories from that night I’d like to pretend didn’t happen this was it. Here’s a bit of advice adding alcohol to most situations is not a good idea. If a doctor is performing open heart surgery you’ll never hear a nurse telling him to chug a beer before he makes the first cut. I teacher knows adding a few shots of vodka before dealing with a room full of loud kids would be the worse idea ever. But for some reason that night I thought what I needed was more toxins messing with my mind. I don’t remember much after those first few sips. I remember watching in horror as I watched what appeared to be my body acting like a perfect stranger. I remember screaming at myself to control myself. And I remember being very cold and craving grilled cheese. I knew that I would live to regret this night for a long time, not being able to live this one down.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to meeting your neighbors for the first time. Some would say the right way is knocking on their door, preferably at a decent hour, with a house plant or some other acceptable friendly neighbor peace offering. You shake hands, offer help if needed down the road (secretly wishing they will never take you up on it) and walk away knowing the only time you’ll ever really see them is a chance meeting at the mailboxes. If that’s the right way then the wrong way would definitely be to bang on their door at 3am yelling obscene things only to fall face down in your birthday suit, sleeping off your concoction of bad ideas from the night before.
Thankfully my neighbor picked that night to not be home. I doubt we’ll ever meet which may be for the best. I have more boyfriends and friends I can handle at the moment.
If you’d like to download any of the characters or builds you see in this story I will post the links to them below, along with a great big thank you to the creators!
Erin created by swcheppes
Chris Evans created by yddam98