Most years of the past 5, I’ve gone to Fanime, a massive local Anime convention. Dressed to kill or just to chill, usually with only a day-pass to vouchsafe my attendance, I am happiest when I’m giving a tour to a Fanime virgin. I’ve taken my brother, my friend, and أخت خطيبي.* I like showing off the vendors, the trading rooms, the viewing rooms. I like exploring the videogaming clusters and Magic card hovels with someone for whom the experience is shining and new.
I don’t much like doing those things alone. For me, Fanime is about getting inspired by wildly creative people. But unlike the Renaissance Faire, where I can showcase the period blouse I sewed and use my drop-spindle with pride, I don’t fit in at Fanime. I’m just not Otaku enough.
So, this year as last year with أخت خطيبي, I will wander through the convention halls, ogle and giggle. But for the most part, I will be watching my friends, enjoying their insights, and harvesting creative energy.
*This translates to “the sister of the fiance of me.” Arabic relationship descriptions are so much slimmer. There are still lexicographical holes: to my knowledge, neither English nor Arabic has a word for parents who have lost a child (“reverse-orphans” is a little cold) nor for the relationship between my mother and my mother-in-law (I have heard Hindi does have a word for this one).
“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star then your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics; you are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements – the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all things that matter for evolution at the start of life – weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way for them to get into your body is if those stars are kind enough to explode. So, forget Jesus. The stars exploded so that you could be here today.” –Lawrence Krauss