An Ache, Instead of a Heart

It was 5:47 in the afternoon. Not an ominous time, not even an interesting one. It was just an afternoon, almost evening sort of time. How could her heart turn from a solid presence in her chest to a throbbing mass, almost a tumor, in just a few short minutes?

It had started because of curiosity. Maybe that wasn’t right, though. Maybe it had started because she’d listened to their music the night before, and it made her think of them again. Her end-all-be-all of music. The men she fell in love with desperately at sixteen and tried feverishly to convince everyone else of their immense power and force. She’d gotten over that, though. She’d found her ken online, through forums and fan-sites – the usual place teenage girls congregate to fantasize, and avid fans come together to worship and respect. She was both – a teenage girl and an avid, serious, dedicated fan.

That was then. This was now. She’d continued adoring them, continued falling in love with the music over and over again. But eventually, her love of the men faded and became respect, admiration, adoration of a different kind. She didn’t want to kiss them anymore – now she wanted to have a conversation with them, be a friend. She’d gotten less and less involved in the online scene. She couldn’t help it that there were other things taking up her time – real friendships, real lovers, real life. So now, three years later, she still considered them the best, her favorites, the all-encompassing musicians for her, and she still listened to them.

In fact, she’d listened to them the night before. Maybe that was why, at 5:47, she’d found herself wondering about a silly detail – a cosmetic feature of one of the men that had disappeared – and through her curiosity, she stumbled back into the websites. She gaped, open-mouthed, at the changes made in her absence. She rejoiced that steps were being made, that there were new people around, that her beloved musicians were still respected.

But it turned her heart into an ache. A dull, stuttering, spluttering ache. It felt like something was pouring out of her heart, dripping on to the floor… Drip-drip-dropping, some essential liquid the heart needed. It felt like a lifetime since she’d fallen in love with stars in a vast sky, and now, rediscovering her fellow¬†worshipers, she felt so lost.

I’m a Fan. Deal With It.

Being a loyal and dedicated fan of anything is a problem. Do you want to know why? Well, I’ll tell you why.

First, inevitably, none of your friends will be fans of the same thing. They’ll either look down on you because of your fandom, or they’ll just pity and ridicule you fondly for it every chance they get. Either way, you’re alone in this except for strangers you might meet and befriend through your fandom.

Second, you’ll waste money to no end. No matter what it is, be it merchandise or new music or tickets or rare items, you HAVE to have it. You just have to. Your world won’t be complete without every single artifact you can find that has to do with your fandom.

Third, you will be branded something extreme – emo, football freak, Trekkie – even if you’re relatively healthy and don’t spend all of your time on forums and at events.

Fourth and finally, society at large seems to find it amiss when we fans scream and yell and gather for some reason or other and often we will have a hard time fitting in if we don’t learn to curb our enthusiasm and find some topics of conversation that don’t have to do with our love.

Conclusion? It’s obvious, of course! Love nothing to the extreme and succumb to the mediocrity of society and of life! Then we’ll all be happy. In a mediocer way at least.