Twenty Years, Part One: “Come Walk With Me”

There’s just no rhyme or reason
Only the sense of completion
And in your eyes, I see
The missing pieces I’m searching for
I think I’ve found my way home — Savage Garden, “I Knew I Loved You

BotCon 1999, July 16th, St. Paul, Minnesota

“That’s him,” I murmured, as I began to make my way across the dealer room. I had managed to slip inside and after taking in just how enormous the place was, I started to slowly scan the room. There were more people there than I had seen in my life, and more Transformers than I had ever seen in one place before. This place was like a dream.

My heart began to pound as I crossed the room, making my way towards a tall man wearing a purple and silver cap. What if someone else was wearing the same hat by coincidence? What if I had misidentified him? What if I said hello to the wrong person? I brushed that off. “Then I’ll hopefully make a new friend,” I mumbled. But a different fear crept in; what if this was the right person and he didn’t like me? What if, even after all the emails, after all the correspondence, he doesn’t like me at all? Or worse, he thinks I’m unattractive? I shook my head. There was nothing that I could do about that. I could only be me. Besides, why did it really matter? Prime was just a friend, right…?

After a brisk walk, I found myself standing next to a tall, strikingly handsome man. His attention was on the tables next to him; he’d picked up a few items and examined them, then replaced them. He was holding a packaged G2 Go-Bots Megatron, clearly intending to purchase it. I hovered beside him for a few seconds, hoping he’d notice me. My nerves were getting the better of me and I was terrified of speaking up or introducing myself. But I swallowed past that fear, muttered, “Here goes,” and reached out, giving the sleeve of his buttondown shirt a slight tug. “Excuse me,” I stammered.

He stopped and immediately turned towards me. His face was expressionless as he looked down at me. My heart rate skyrocketed. “Yes?” he asked, in a deep baritone.

“Are you Prime?” I knew my face was flushing and I could hear my voice was quivering as I spoke.

“Yes,” he replied, only now he seemed slightly bewildered. He wasn’t, but my brain seemed to want to throw one last-ditch effort into getting me to believe this was some sort of mistake I was making.

With a relieved grin, I stuck out my hand. “I’m Silverwynde,” I said. With that said, he smiled. When he did, my knees turned to jelly; he wasn’t simply handsome. He was gorgeous.

“Oh, hey!” Prime exclaimed, as he shook my hand. “I’ve been looking for you!” We started to talk, about our trips and our hotel stays and everything else inbetween. I knew I liked the guy, but now I wondered if I was feeling was something more.

It took me going back home a day later, of getting on the plane and the soft whisper of “Goodbye, Prime” as the tears began to spill down my face, for me to truly understand how I felt. I didn’t just want a friendship with this man. I wanted a life with him. Leaving him behind and going back to North Carolina felt as though I was leaving a piece of myself. Something that made me feel whole, like a piece of my heart or a sliver of my soul, was gone, on his way back to Wisconsin and I wanted to follow him. Yet I had a small gift from him; he had bought a Goldbug for me.

We had been wandering around the dealer room, when we came to a table that had a mint-on-card Goldbug, Bumblebee’s upgraded form. I mentioned that I didn’t have a Goldbug and Prime seemed surprised, then bought it. I patted Prime’s shoulder and said, “You give him a good home now.”

Prime grinned. “Oh, I will,” he replied, then he handed the figure to me. “I’m a shmuck,” he admitted with a grin. “I like buying people presents.”

I nearly knocked him over hugging him. No one had ever done anything so nice for me before. I was shocked.

When Goldbug and I got back home, I started typing an email that I knew would change everything: I laid it all on the line. I admitted my true feelings. I said that, over the course of so many months that slowly became years, I had done something that I never thought I would ever do again; I had feelings for someone, namely him. But I was terrified; I’d been through one relationship that ended badly due to cheating and no real commentment. I was, however, willing to try again. To Prime, I had opened my heart a sliver.

Once I was done, I hit ‘send’. Then, I waited.

Prime replied not long after. His feelings were the same. He wanted to share his life with me, being not just friends, but something deeper. He closed the email with four words, four words I could never forget: “Come walk with me.”

Not only that, he wanted to talk and he gave me his phone number. I did the same. We set a date–00:30 early Saturday morning–when he would call me and we would talk for the first time since the convention.

A real phone call with a real conversation. No arguments or drama. I could barely wait.

I counted down the days until that Saturday, then the hours until that phone call. My coworkers thought I was insane; they spent a good portion of that Saturday night laughing at me, making jokes about me having to rush home for my ‘important phone call’. I didn’t care. The only thing I cared about was hearing Prime’s voice, which I hadn’t heard in a week. With bated breath, I waited for the phone to ring and nearly tripped and fell when it did. I almost yanked it clear off the hook and managed to gasp out a nervous “Hello?”

“Silvy?” Prime said. I replied, “Yes!” and we started to talk. The conversation was about everything and nothing and it lasted for hours. There were jokes and laughter and goofy replies. But as the night wore on and slowly became day, things became serious.

I asked Prime how he felt about me. To this day, I don’t know exactly why. Was it fear? Curiosity? Something else? I honestly don’t know. But for that unknown reason, I had to hear it from him.

As always, Prime was honest: “I’ve already fallen in love with you.”

I gasped and a lump choked my throat. My vision blurred. He wasn’t lying; I could hear the sincerity in his voice. It took me a moment, but I was able to answer him. “I…I’m in love with you, too,” I whispered.

It was out in the open now, how I truly felt. I was excited and frightened. I think we both were. Then Prime said something that took me completely by surprise, but it, too, felt completely right: “Move in with me.”

I was terrified. Without a moment’s hesitation, I said yes. We set the date for December.

It wasn’t easy–telling my parents, but they did understand. Prime had met my mother and she liked him immediately; she spoke highly of him when we got back home after the trip. Dad made a few jokes about him and Mom shot them down; Prime was a nice guy, smart and decent. She liked him. (Coming from my mother, this was very high praise.)

December. Only weeks away in the grand scheme of things, but an eternity nevertheless. I was torn between overwhelming excitement and abject terror.

~To Be Continued~

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Oppressive

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Exactly.

It’s hot. Holy slag, it’s hot. The humidity isn’t helping, either. At one point, I used to enjoy this sort of weather. Now, I hate it. It’s too sticky. Damn tamoxifen.

This week I’m getting 37 hours; today was the first of four eight hour days. I literally don’t know how I managed to do this while at Walmart. It’s too much for me. The strain on my body is taking its toll and I’ve just gotten started!

Our schedule is being done by someone else. Again. This is getting ridiculous, to be honest. I have no idea who I should turn in my requests. It seems like we have a new scheduler for a few weeks, then the job is passed to somebody else. That’s the only thing that Walmart could do and do well: we had only one person who took care of the schedule and our requests off were paperless. I kinda want Costco to implement the same thing, but I don’t know if they ever will.

I’m on vacation next week. It’s just too bad that I have nowhere to go.

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Sunday Morning Nostalgia Crush!

The first season opening to Space: 1999. Primus bless you, old science fiction television programs. You had such high hopes for us and we let you down so badly.

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Peach Fuzz

It’s been another shitty week, so let’s make it a kitty week. So here are some cats, napping, grooming, and meowing. Enjoy!

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Seven Quick Takes Friday: Back to Cruel Edition

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1) Current mood:

2) I dropped off the film at the local Walmart on Thursday, as that was the first chance I had to visit the place and do so. It’s going to take around a week or so to get the results back, so I’m kinda excited.

3) This is just your weekly reminder that #FacebookIsTrash.

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4) We will be hitting the 90s next week. I can hardly freaking wait.

5) Apparently, taking calcium and vitamin D to prevent strokes isn’t a great idea, as taking those supplements can actually make strokes worse. Yeah, so much for me trying to head off the leg cramps that I get because of the damned tamoxifen at the pass; I’m sticking with milk, in dairy or non-dairy form, and calling it good.

6) I guess everyone finally blew up the last of the fireworks. Things are nice and quiet at night. Yay.

7) Walmart’s changing their planograms as we speak; they are gearing up for back to school. Great. The only upside is that I might find some Bumblebee merchandise on the shelves, but the downside is that summer is drawing to a close and we’ll be dealing with freaking snow again. That’s not something I want to think about now. (The Ca$hma$ rush? That doesn’t bother me anymore. Costco is far different from Walmart; we don’t have the Black Friday bullshit and we’re not open on Thanksgiving. The holidays are a lot less stressful where I’m working now. That’s not a joke!)

That’s all for this time. Drop by next week where I pick through the random detritus of my brain and try to put together something coherent. Until next time, see ya!

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Weekly Reader Vol 2 Issue 11

It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse! It’s another Weekly Reader! Got a hot story of your own? Want a shout-out for your blog? Got your op-ed published in the local newspaper? Well, just drop by the comments and let me know about it!

Bodies in Seats (from The Verge-WARNING! THIS IS EXTREMELY DISTURBING AND DETAILS PHYSICAL HARM/ABUSE AGAINST ANIMALS AND HUMANS! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!): “Facebook executives have maintained that the working conditions described to me by dozens of contractors do not accurately reflect the daily lives of the majority of its workers. But after publishing my story about Phoenix, I received dozens of messages from other contractors around the world, many of whom reported having similar experiences. The largest single group of messages I received came from current and former Facebook contractors in Tampa. Many of them have worked closely with employees at the Phoenix site, and believe working conditions in Florida are even more grim.”

The Burdens We Carry (from Longreads): “Earlier that morning, I spoke to my mother on the phone. We talked about how she’d slept the night before, what I ate for breakfast, her plans for the day. I was getting ready for work, brushing my teeth, donning a denim dress with a sleeveless top printed with elephants underneath which I would later throw out in the dumpster behind my apartment, unable to stand the sight of it. Although I was now an adult, I was still in the habit of calling my mom four or five times a day. It was comforting. I think the last thing I said to her was, “Talk to you later.” I can’t remember what she said, but occasionally she would end the call with “I love you.” I hope this is what happened.”

Facebook ban on white nationalism too narrow, say auditors (from The Guardian): “Madihha Ahussain, of Muslim Advocates, a civil rights group, said that the audit report “shows that on issues regarding content moderation and the increased threat of white nationalist violence, the company has failed to take meaningful action. The murder of 51 Muslims in Christchurch, broadcast all over the world on Facebook Live, made it clear that this is a life and death matter. Still, the company has yet to take serious action to protect our community.””

Hundreds of members of religious groups protest Trump immigration policies in Milwaukee (from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel): “Trump tweeted last week that ICE was going to escalate the number of arrests and removals of undocumented immigrants starting this week. Then Saturday, he tweeted that he would halt the escalation for two weeks to see if Democrats and Republicans could pass legislation “to work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border.”

Blackmon said public protests against the immigration policies are necessary.”

Accused of Rape, Teenager Is Treated Gently by a Judge. It’s a Familiar Story. (from The New York Times via MSN): “As Judge Troiano’s comments became widely known to the public this week, they were met with outrage and calls for him to be barred from the bench. But there was also widespread frustration that variations of the same scenario seem to play out on a loop in the nation’s criminal justice system, allowing people with markers of privilege — whether in education, wealth or race — to be given light treatment, probation or short sentences.”

Trump labor secretary who cut Epstein deal plans to slash funds for sex trafficking victims (from The Guardian): “The bureau’s budget would fall from $68m last year to just $18.5m. The proposed reduction is so drastic that experts say it would effectively kill off many federal efforts to curb sex trafficking and put the lives of large numbers of children at risk.

ILAB has the task of countering human trafficking, child labor and forced labor across the US and around the world. Its mission is “to promote a fair global playing field for workers” and it is seen as a crucial leader in efforts to crack down on the sex trafficking of minors.”

13-Year-Old Scientist’s Research Shows Hand Dryers Can Hurt Kids’ Ears (from NPR): “She discovered that Xlerator hand dryers and two types of Dyson Airblade hand dryers posed the greatest threats to children’s hearing. These types all exceed 100 decibels — a volume that can lead to “learning disabilities, attention difficulties, and ruptured ear drums,” according to the study.”

Border agency knew about secret Facebook group for years (from Politico): “Border Patrol leadership knew about photos posted to the group as far back as 2016, when agents reported them, according to a current Homeland Security official. The images — several of which were provided to POLITICO — show agents engaging in conduct that includes simulating sex acts and taking selfies while defecating. A former DHS official said he was aware of the Facebook group during the past year.”

Concentration Camps Existed Long Before Auschwitz (from The Smithsonian Magazine): “These camps did not rise out of nowhere. Forced labor had existed for centuries around the world, and the parallel institutions of Native American reservations and Spanish missions set the stage for relocating vulnerable residents away from their homes and forcing them to stay elsewhere. But it was not until the technology of barbed wire and automatic weapons that a small guard force could impose mass detention. With that shift, a new institution came into being, and the phrase “concentration camps” entered the world.”

Attorneys: Texas border facility is neglecting migrant kids (from The AP): ““In my 22 years of doing visits with children in detention, I have never heard of this level of inhumanity,” said Holly Cooper, who co-directs University of California, Davis’ Immigration Law Clinic and represents detained youth.”

We went to a border detention center for children. What we saw was awful (from CNN): “The situation we found is unacceptable. US Border Patrol is holding many children, including some who are much too young to take care of themselves, in jail-like border facilities for weeks at a time without contact with family members, regular access to showers, clean clothes, toothbrushes, or proper beds. Many are sick. Many, including children as young as 2 or 3, have been separated from adult caretakers without any provisions for their care besides the unrelated older children also being held in detention.”

That’s all for this week. Drop by again for even more summer reading material for the beach, pool, camping, or whatever. Until then, happy reading!

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Daily Reminder

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This is so close to the truth it hurts. I’m not kidding.

Last night, I developed a ‘wonderful’ bout of nausea, right around bedtime. The stuff didn’t go away until I walked in the door at work this morning. Needless to say I had reservations about eating much of anything, so I kept everything light.

Big mistake. Because I was in agony by 18:45. Oh yeah, my gut was completely empty and it was letting me know.

A trip to Q’doba was the cure. Yes, I’m feeling a lot better. But I’m never doing that again.

I’m thinking that the whole incident was due to the weather; it was fairly warm and humid both last night and for most of the day. We’ve only just now lost some of the moisture in the air. It doesn’t help that I had heat illness well over a decade ago; once you get it, you have a tendency to get it again. The tamoxifen isn’t helping, either.

The break isn’t going to last long, as we’re looking at possible ninety degree temps in a few days. Me, I’m counting down the days until autumn.

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