When I reached the top of the stairs and entered the restaurant’s second floor lounge, his back was to me.
For a moment, I thought I shouldn’t immediately go up and say hi. He was, after all, working, and he seemed to be busy talking with Symetrie, a woman I briefly met at Shibaricon.
But just as quickly I thought, Fuck that. I tapped him on his arm and he turned towards me.
“Hi!” Gray gave me a big hug. “I didn’t know you were coming to the Grue.”
“Really? Cause I joined the Fet group and it’s on my page.”
“FetLife? I don’t look at people’s pages.”
Well there you go. For once, I surprised him.
He introduced Symetrie; we were re-acquainted. I then stepped away for a much needed drink after my day’s trek and placed my dinner order. My cider obtained, I mingled about greeting Minnesota friends and making new ones.
Easing my way over to Gray again, he asked me who I knew in the room. Funny enough, Gray happened to be standing next to someone I sort of knew.
“Hi. We haven’t actually met yet. I’m poetic.”
“Yes,” said Roughinamorato, pointing towards my heart. “I recognize the necklace.”
Rough looked just as I remembered him, having watched him play back at Shibaricon. This time, though, was the first time I saw his face up close.
Chatting again with Gray, I pointed out different people in the room I knew. There were only a handful.
And then I felt arms wrap around me. Turning, I immediately squeed, hugged, and kissed Inretrepida tight. My attention shifted to her, catching up on all that had happened in the six months since my initial visit.
As we spoke, my food arrived. I sat at a high top table next to where we stood, continuing our conversation. When Inretrepida needed to walk away, I stayed seated opting to let whatever people and conversations that so chose to float towards me.
As I enjoyed my fried rice chatting with folks, Rough drifted next to me. With now five of us around the small table, funny and interesting topics pinged back and forth. I finally got to listen to Rough speak. I was pleased he shared a similar sense of humor.
Yelling above the din, Gray quieted the crowd for a moment for a few quick announcements: the start time for breakfast (8:30am), the approximate start time for the Grue (9:30am), and the introduction of the Grue-nomicon.
The Grue-nomicon, for those who don’t know, is a moleskin journal containing quotes from every Grue. Anything anyone found witty, interesting, or funny Gray asked us to then jot into the Grue-nomicon.
“For instance, Rough, say something funny.”
I loved the look of what-the-fuck-I-don’t-know on Rough’s face.
Of course, Gray sat the Grue-nomicon in front of me. As conversations picked back up, quite soon I picked up the pen and started jotting down quotes.
“What? I’m a writer,” I said as I wrote down three funny lines from my table within ten minutes.
Gray then eased over towards myself and Rough, leaning against our two chairs.
“I can tell you two this joke. You’ll still like me even though it’s horrible.”
And it was. And we did.
Sitting there, my Minnesota friends in the room, Gray and Rough next to me, I felt quite spoiled. Little did I know how fun my night would get.
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