A post not actually about fandom

23 Dec 2015, 12:29 a.m.

In which I cheat — a meaningless word in this context — and do not actually follow the post prompt for today.

When I saw that today's writing prompt was on fandom, my heart leapt a little, because I certainly have opinions on fandom: here's an old post from when I was just starting to figure out why fanfic was interesting, here's one with tag-commentary about joining in with fandom. Reading the entire prompt, I was disappointed to see that they meant sports fandom but decided I would go with my first instinct anyway. Then I didn't.

Instead, I've been sitting on the bed next to a very cute, very loudly snoring David and both cats, who are only a little more restrained, for several hours, gnawing at the internet and making myself sad. I have read some fanfic, because I was looking at Tumblr, where it crystallises in midair and falls like manna, but that doesn't necessarily further the writing goal. (Still, here is Aftermath by kaasknot, about Mad Max: Fury Road and a post by bottledspirits about Harry Potter. Both of them look at the hard, sad things that happen after the action dies away, and both of them made me cry tonight.)

This isn't great: it's the kind of behaviour all the new habits I've been trying to cultivate in the last few years, daily writing prompts included, are designed to prevent. Once in a while, though, I guess it's okay. (It never wants to be just once and then over. That's why habits are necessary.) It's my time of the month for feeling sad, and it's the time of the year for melancholy and ghosts. Tomorrow, we're going home for Christmas; I hope I have the wherewithal to make it through the week in festive spirits and ignore anything that would divert me from that path.

Recently I switched browsers and tried out a new website-blocking extension, which has been very effective. Tonight's Tumblr binge was a deliberate choice. I feel very ambivalent about Tumblr, these days: grateful for the people I've met through that medium, but also overwhelmed and avoidant of it, and then guilty for not communicating enough or well enough, letting the relationships slide. Hmm. That sentence would work equally well with life as the object.

Tumblr sparks anxiety in me in much the same way as Ikea sometimes does. Things will be fine and then there's a sudden multiplication in my head of all the experiences, all the people having those experiences, all the waste and consumption — certainly in the case of Ikea — and deficiency and guilt and, well, so on, and I find myself panicking at the bottom of an existential hellmouth.

(My housemates and I went to Ikea a couple of weeks ago, and I can report that being on antidepressants has reduced that effect quite a bit. I haven't found a cure for Tumblr yet, though.)

I dropped a particular relationship ball a couple of months ago and I've been agonising over it ever since, which of course has not helped me to fix things one bit. It's the time when people draw together to eat, drink and sing up the sun for another year. There are human things that need to be done and I feel utterly inadequate to do them. The answer is to start anywhere, I know. Pull one thread and let the rest untangle behind it. I've just got to get my grip on a thread to begin with.

Well! That's enough of that. I'm going to turf the cats off my bed and take their place next to my boyfriend, eat chocolate for breakfast tomorrow and jump on a plane to see my family. In a vain attempt to address the prompt in some way at least, here is a chapter of fic in which Captain America and post-Winter Soldier Bucky Barnes cook Thanksgiving dinner for their eldery neighbours. (It's part of this excellent series, best read from the beginning.)

"Football on Thanksgiving is a law," Ollie says, taking over the television.
Another thing not mentioned in Foolproof Thanksgiving.
"Ooo, cheesecake," Lidia says as she noses through the kitchen, "much better than boring old pie."
Okay. Maybe dessert isn't totally ruined.
The Olds examine and comment on all the food preparation and declare themselves satisfied. The scent that comes out of the oven when Esther peers at the turkey is so enticing that Barnes reels a little. Note: he also neglected to eat breakfast.
Assessment: better eat some of those snacks.
It is a highly enjoyable span of time. Barnes learns some American geography, and that professional sports teams like to name themselves after large cats. Also that he is not allowed to root for the Detroit Lions, which is a shame, because their outfits are a pleasing shade of blue.
He will root for them secretly.