Bruno: I have a problem.
Friend: Just one?
Bruno: People look at me weird.
Friend: Which people?
Bruno: On the streets.
Friend: Well, they must have found out about “My little pony: friendship is magic”.
Bruno: How would they? I don’t think is that.
Friend: Oh, they know.
Bruno: No, but really, why do they are always staring at me, am I that weird?
Friend: No, just a bit paranoid, we’re all a little weird though.
Bruno: I wonder when did it all started?
Friend: You mean the weirdness?
Bruno: Yeah, was it in high school?
Bruno: Or was it because of /b/?
Friend: Yeah, that didn’t help.
Bruno: Come to think of it, actually I know who to blame, there were the people from ADAM. Matias, Ariel, Damian, nestor, and others whose names I have chosen to forget.
Friend: Remind me what ADAM stands for again.
Bruno: It’s Spanish for: Asociacion defensa de anime y manga, it was a very very strange place in Argentina, where I used to hang out as a teenager. It was cool, except it was not.
Friend: Interesting, so you think there’s where it all started. Tell me more about it, for example, how did you end up there in the first place?
Bruno: Alright you’re sounding like a psychologist now, bit creepy.
Bruno: Anyway, it’s a long story. It all started back when I was still in high school, sick and tired of getting bullied at school decided to try and make some new friends with similar interests as me.
Friend: It’s been more than 10 years, no, I don’t remember.
Bruno: Yeah you remember, when Shinji stood up, chair falls backward, glass shatters, tears in my eyes, I stood up too, tingly feeling, smile, cry. That episode stayed with me till now. Stayed with us until now.
Friend: Right, back to ADAM though.
Bruno: Yeah, so after I watched that I thought I had to find people similar to me, and thought, what are my interests? I wasn’t good at anything, didn’t like music or sports, I just watched tv the whole day, Japanese tv…
Friend: You mean, Japanese cartoons.
Bruno: Yeah, that was all I had, that was my only interest, so I tried to look for people who like the same things, thought they would understand me.
Friend: Did they?
Bruno: Yeah, well no, sometimes, not really, well it was weird. Before going there I thought I had some issues, once there I thought ‘oh boy?’ What did I get myself into? Who are these people?
Friend: What happened?
Bruno: Well before going there I thought I was socially awkward, but these people, ufff… they were the same as me, or worse, so I finally knew what it was like to hang out with myself and understood why I had no friends.
Friend: That’s good you had finally found people like you, right?
Bruno: Yeah, so they took me under their wings and into into their parent’s basements, they nurtured me and taught me how to play Pokemon cards, Magic, d&d and many role-playing games and suddenly I found myself knee deep in this underground culture I had no idea it even existed and suddenly, suddenly I had group of friends, a very weird one, but friends at last. I had people to hang out with, people who called me at home and I could call and talk to. And they broke all the molds.
Friend: How come?
Bruno: Well you know how usually most friends or groups of friends they get together for a few hours once or few times a week, well with this guys we would hang out for at least 2 days in a row, sometimes 3 or 4, no break, 24/7, and we would do the craziest things, things you have never even heard of or dreamed of.
Friend: Like what?
Bruno: It’s hard to explain, but it was intense. Spending one day with them was like spending a month of a normal person’s life and we would usually get together on a Friday after school and hang out until Monday morning that we had to go back to school.
Friend: So that’s when thing started to get weird?
Bruno: Yeah, then I broke off that group and started getting into other groups of people even weirder, then I moved to other city and met even more weird people, it all added up.
Friend: And what happened to those people?
Bruno: I’ve got no idea, probably they are still there.
Friend: Wouldn’t you like to get back in touch with them?
Bruno: Well, it’s been so many years and we have all changed so much. I have no idea what could happen, maybe they grew tentacles or something. But you know, that time in Argentina it was just a stage of my life, like many others, usually, every country is a different stage and I feel like I have to leave them behind in order to keep moving forward in life. I always remember what Robin said ‘the future is scary, but you can’t run back to the past just because it’s familiar’.
Friend: So you wouldn’t like to hang out with them again in like let’s say 10 years from now?
Bruno: Why not? You know after that. I’ve played role-playing games and card games in other countries with other people, and it was very very different from my experiences in Argentina. People I’ve played with in other countries were just normal people, with jobs, friends and families, no mental disorders and normal life outside the few hours we got together to play usually once a week, but people in Argentina were unique in the sense the game was our lives, and those things stay with you forever, to this day I still remember the names of some of the characters we used to play as. We were even creating our own games and rules, the creativity levels in that group were way over 9000.
Friend: That sounds indeed quite intense. Are you ok?
Bruno: Yeah, just got a bit excited.
Friend: You’re not crying are you?
Bruno: Not today no.