Entourage meetup

I Used To Be A Stagecoach Driver, And Now I'm Not: I'm A Murderer [Part 29, section one]

2020.06.05 17:58 ninaplays I Used To Be A Stagecoach Driver, And Now I'm Not: I'm A Murderer [Part 29, section one]

Part 28
[[OOC WARNING: the link embedded in the story below contains strobing lights.]]

Well.
I won. If you can call that winning.
It only cost me everything.
Today didn't start off like the end of the world. I woke up in Leah's shed, which is actually the hay shed near Scratch's enclosure. She couldn't climb the castle stairs anymore, and after the first night—when nobody could find her anywhere—Gary reported a small nest in the shed, old horror costume pieces thrown together in the hay to make a bed. Everybody else promptly descended with her blankets and some books, because she can still turn pages, and Anne brought her a space heater and a table to keep it on so it didn't catch the hay on fire. I stayed last night to keep her company. She's right, sleeping in a hay bale is pretty comfy, as long as you keep a blanket down to avoid the straw scratch.
Dale was there when I woke up, watching me. There are a whole lot of ways you can watch somebody sleep, and most of them are pretty creepy, but when I sat up and rubbed my eyes he just kind of gave me this crooked smile like he'd been there awhile but decided Leah and I could both use the rest.
He nodded me out of the shed with a finger on his lips—not that he needed to tell me, I know a lot better than most people how much of an escape sleep can be—and as I crossed the threshold it hit me, all at once.
We who now claim ownership. You don't get to know—until. If the new contract lets me.
At eight this morning, I thought I was a fucking genius.
“I know how I'm going to solve this. All of it. Leah. Your family. Everything.”
Dale just kind of gave me this look like I'd suddenly taken a three-mile jump and left him behind. I waved a hand at him.
“I have to talk to Madeleine. I might get on shift late.” And I pecked his cheek and zipped off before he could ask questions, because I think I've pointed out before that running on instinct is how things usually turn out best for me. Except this time, I guess.
I found Madeleine in Casablanca—little surprise there, I guess—with this little thing that kind of looked like a tablet but apparently was actually a DVD player, ears-deep in Looney Tunes.
“Morning, Mads. I need to ask you a question and it's important.”
She put down her DVD player and tilted her head at me.
“You're in charge of the park, right? Like—from the Wild Ones side.”
She nodded.
“But you're not the one in charge of the Wild Ones.”
A shake of the head this time.
“So if I needed to talk to someone about the contract, it wouldn't be you.”
Another head shake.
“Do you know who it would be?”
Nod.
I took a deep breath. The question itself was simple. It was everything that went with it that was big.
“Do you know how I can talk to them?”
She looked horrified.
“Mads, please. It's important.”
She pinned her DVD player to her chest and shook her head, hard. I sighed. I'd have to ask Dale, and I didn't want to bring him into it, but that was the choice I had left.
“Okay.” I got up and scratched between her ears. “Have fun today, okay? Last day of the season.”
I headed back to horror. Leah was getting up, rubbing at her eyes with the backs of her claws.
“Hey, sleeping beauty, want some help with that bird's nest?”
She bared her teeth at me. It was weird and, honestly, kind of terrifying, the first time I saw it, but even though it'd only been a couple days it didn't take me long to figure out it was about what she could do now for making a horrible face at someone.
“Yeah, yeah, I know, I know, everybody loves me 'cause I'm cute and not for my charming personality. Cold world. Turn around.” I sat down while she got herself turned around. I was halfway through brushing out the knots when Dale reappeared in the doorway. I swapped him spots in the chair and he started sectioning out her hair. Leah twisted around to look at him.
“Yeah, I can't do anything from this angle, you have to sit still.”
She kept staring at him. He made a turning motion with his finger and started a braid up near her hairline, tucking pieces as he went.
“I used to have a little sister,” he told her, finally. “Deanna. She was halfway between me and Dean. She was a cheerleader. I learned how to braid her hair because it's safer than ponytails.” He tucked up the pieces right behind her ears. “If it's flat against your head it's less likely to get caught on something.”
Leah raised both her hands in a shrugging motion. Dale grabbed a couple of her bobby pins out of the little tray on top of the space heater and stuck them in the corner of his mouth.
“She died a few months before I took over the park,” he said. “Her boyfriend said she swerved to avoid a deer and hit a pothole.” He paused long enough to tuck the bobby pins in and find a hair elastic. “She was sixteen.”
Leah twisted around again. The braid whipped out of Dale's hands, but at least the elastic was mostly on. She stared up at him, then wrapped her arms around his legs and laid her cheek on his knees. Dale sighed and leaned over to finish securing the elastic.
“Yeah, it fucking sucks,” he said. “I still miss her. She's not stuck running this hellhole, though, and that's something. Do you want to get in costume now or later?”
Leah held up her wrist and tapped it. Dale looked at his phone.
“Just after nine.”
Leah made a kind of waving gesture like she was throwing something. Later. Dale hoisted himself out of the chair.
“I'll see if one of the girls can help you around ten-thirty, then,” he said. “Casablanca's a no-go this morning, but there's going to be a brunch bar in King Arthur's if you're hungry.”
Leah grinned. Then she stuck out her feet. I grabbed the really piss-poor excuse for moccasins I'd managed to cobble together so I could slip them on her feet. They're basically just tubes of black leather with a zipper sewn into the top to make the only seam, but they keep her feet covered. I'd been planning to ask Charlie for something better, but if I could get Dale to work with me, I could do even better than that.
I zipped her into her moccasins, and she pushed herself to her feet before pushing her tee-shirt over her face and kissing me and Dale and speeding off toward Candyland. Dale glanced at me. I thought he was going to say something about Leah, but he didn't.
“I'm supposed to tell you that what you're thinking about, whatever the hell it is, is incredibly dangerous and you shouldn't do it for any reason whatsoever, but if you still want to see upper management, Madeleine will take you. There's a bend in the underground tunnel where they can speak but you won't turn.”
“I don't 'want' to see them, but I have to. Sort of like changing diapers.”
“Yeah, I had the feeling you'd say that.” He took a chain off from around his neck and scooped the pendant into his hand. “I'm going to send you with this, then. If you'll take it.”
He tipped the whole thing into my hand. It wasn't a pendant at all—it was a pair of silver rings.
“What are these?”
“There used to be one hell of a question attached to these. I wouldn't ask it right now and if that changes in the future I'd get a different pair. But they're sterling. I've worn them every Halloween in the park since I bought them. You shouldn't carry iron or laurel to a meeting with the Old Ones, but silver is fine. It'll protect you.”
I pulled both of them off the chain. He was right—I could just see a little “.925” inside the bigger band. I put it onto my thumb, let it dangle for a second, and then slid it onto his finger. He stared at me.
“Yes, I'll give you the chance to prove you deserve to ask it someday.”
He gave me this incredibly tired, but contented smile. I don't think I've seen that expression since before I landed on the stagecoach. “That's a hell of a lot more than I thought I'd get six months ago.”
“Yeah, well, at some point this guy I know told me he was done not standing up for himself and it was kind of attractive.”
Dale started laughing. Then he hugged me and put the smaller ring on my finger. If I'd known then what I know now, I might not have let him.
“Be as careful as you can be,” he said. “And don't forget. You need to look for every single loophole in anything either of you say and close every one as tight as you can.”
“I will.”
He held my face between his hands for a minute, like he was studying it to be sure he wouldn't forget it. Then he kissed me.
“Christ, Nate, be careful,” he whispered. I leaned against him.
“I'll do my best.”
I took some provisions with me into the underground. Nothing I read all summer told me anything about going into the fae realm—except, you know, “don't do that”—but given how hard some of these old entities leaned into a specific set of hospitality rules, it seemed like it might be a good idea to take some stuff with me.
Madeleine met me at the Hollywood bathroom, drooping all over. I got to one knee and gave her a hug. Then I kissed her cheek.
“It's going to be okay, kiddo. Really.” Then I made a face and pulled a white piece of fur off my lips. “Ugh. Kid, we need to get you a hairbrush.”
Madeleine still looked scared, but she giggled anyway. Then she pulled the door open with both hands, and unlocked the far stall.
I stared at what was in the bottom of it. The floor didn't extend past the edges of the stall, and I was looking at a patch of bare earth, a few roots sticking out here and there at the edges of the hole into the underground. Madeleine stepped in front of me, made a couple of gestures to indicate I should follow her, and then dropped in.
I thought it might smell like rotten fruit, or maybe ripe fruit, after reading Leah's description of the underground, but it didn't. Not where we were, at least—here it just smelled like old sour dirt. Madeleine suddenly disappeared, and I stopped walking at once. Then a very small hand stuck out of what looked like solid wall until I reached out and took the hand and realized no, it was just a combination of dim light and a narrow doorway. Madeleine breathed a sigh of relief.
“This is the only good part about being back down here,” she said, and I kind of stared at her. “What? You wouldn't like it if—”
“I don't think I've ever heard your voice before.”
“Oh.” Her whiskers drooped a little, then perked back up. “I have to go find someone who can talk to someone who can talk to who you want to talk to. It's okay, though. This is close enough to the surface time won't be weird. It's where contract meetings are always held, when they have to be.”
I nodded and sat down on a root. Madeleine left the way she'd come.
According to my phone, it was about twenty minutes later when Madeleine darted back in. She looked terrified.
“She's coming,” she whispered. “Please don't taunt her. Please.
I squeezed Madeleine's hand and got to my feet, and pressed my thumb against Dale's silver ring for comfort. I had no idea what kind of creature might come walking in, but I had the feeling it wouldn't be anything I'd recognize.
I wasn't wrong.
If you asked me to explain what I was looking at, I literally couldn't do it. The creature in front of me would have made Dale look impossibly short; it had spiders' eyes and forever-dripping fangs easily as long as my hand, and as big around as my wrist, dangling in a drooping mouth. It had something you might describe as hair, I guess, but it looked more like roots. It was humanoid, I guess, kind of—if “it has a head and two arms and two legs and stands upright” is enough to qualify something as humanoid—but each of its limbs had an unnerving amount of joints, and the hands had seven uncannily-long fingers each. Its skin reminded me of some kind of tree fungus, but if the fungus was free-hanging and also partly rotten. I looked up at it and tried not to gag at its nose. If you could call that a nose. It almost looked like it was just straight-up the nasal cavity in a skull.
“So you are the new addition to the family,” it said. It sounded like a chain smoker trying to talk through a milkshake. “We meet at last. May I have your name?”
I did my best to look like I'd totally expected that question—maybe even a little offended by it. Tricks, yeah, okay, fine, try to fool me, but don't be so fucking blatant about it.
“No. Why don't you just call me Ainsel?”
The Old One laughed. Genuinely amused laughter, it seemed like. There were three or four other, smaller creatures behind it, and they started laughing too.
“Ah,” it said. “This one has a brain.”
“I try to. What should I call you?”
It made another amused noise. “You may refer to me as Old Mother.”
Holy shit. This might actually be the original one.
“Thank you.” I held up the bag I'd slung over my back when I left King Arthur's. “I won't say it's a pleasure to meet you, because I think you and I both know I'd rather not be down here, but I will thank you for taking the time. And I brought you this as a . . . token of appreciation, I guess. I know it's an inconvenience.”
Old Mother took the bag. I'd filled it with as much bread and fruit as I could fit, and then thrown in a bottle of whipping cream the kitchen staff would probably go nuts over losing before sending somebody down to Kroger's. “Appreciated.”
“No problem.” I waited for it . . . her, I guess, to settle the bag at her feet. “I have a question, and I would very, very much appreciate if you'd just give me a straight yes or no answer.”
She looked at me and didn't say anything. I took a deep breath and kept going.
“You called me an addition to the family. I'm good with that. I mean, Dale's parents can go fuck themselves, but I guess it's no secret he and I are together, and I'm pretty sure we're going to stay that way. Does that mean I have some kind of control over the contract?”
“The contract may only be altered when the family is in agreement and terms are agreed upon. So your 'straight yes or no' answer,” she said, and she sounded kind of disdainful when she said it, “would be 'no,' little Ainsel.”
“What if I bought it out?”
She stopped and stared at me, head cocked a little to one side. Her hair-root-stuff wavered a little even though there was no breeze.
“Explain.”
“The original contract says 'we who now claim ownership of this land.' I wasn't there. I didn't claim ownership. Shit. Depending on when it happened I might not have been able to claim ownership. I might've been one of the things people were claiming ownership of. So strictly speaking, legally, this doesn't apply to me, because I wasn't there and couldn't have signed a contract even if I was. So what if I just . . . offer you a better deal?”
Old Mother folded her hands together. I tried not to watch a long rope of spit slide down one. “What 'deal' do you suggest?”
“Get rid of the park.”
She stared at me. I stared back.
“I'm serious. Use of the land returns to you for everything except tax benefits, because that's a human-side thing and doesn't affect you, like . . . at all, ever. Bulldoze it and put a million trees on it, turn it into a dog park, sink it all like Atlantis, I don't give a shit, it's yours. The provisions about using your voices aboveground and not being able to walk on your land get nullified. In exchange, everybody Warin ever targeted gets returned to the state they were in before he, what the hell did he call it, 'fed' them. Infected them. Whatever you want to call it. The state we were in before that black shit got in our mouths, that's what we go back to. Leah included. And Madeleine. She wasn't one of Warin's, but she's a park employee. She was a changeling. She gets returned to how she was before that happened. Dale's family has no further interaction with you. They don't owe you anything, you don't owe them anything, it's a clean playing field. And all of us, by which I mean everybody I just mentioned but also everybody who works at the park in general, get to go live our lives without being tracked or targeted by you.”
She tilted her head far to one side and looked at me. I stayed quiet. I could tell she was thinking—and like Dale said, I didn't want to open anything to interpretation. At last she shook her head. I had a trump card reserved for that, but I'd been really hoping I wouldn't have to use it.
I closed my eyes and turned the ring around my finger. Somewhere, Dale was waiting to hear how this all turned out. I had to get it perfect.
“And I'll sell you my name.”
There was a shocked, delighted hiss from Old Mother's entire entourage. I heard Madeleine let out a low, despairing moan. Old Mother grinned. It wasn't a nice grin. It looked like tree branches in the wind in December, but dripping black.
“With one more condition, I will accept.”
She named it.
I'm pretty sure there are times in life where everything stops, whether you want it to or not. Time might theoretically still be going by, but it's not really. The sentence that rolled out of her mouth was one of those times.
I didn't say anything. I didn't know what to say. The grin remained.“If you intend to seal this new contract, little Ainsel, then we will convene at the park's center at midnight. If you are late, the contract is void, and your friends will be claimed by us permanently. If you should decide the terms are, hm . . . unfavorable, your presence will still be required to reject the contract and remain under the current terms.”
I nodded.
“Was there anything else?”
I shook my head.
“Then I will bid you good day, little Ainsel. I believe it is about to begin.”
And she was gone.
Dale was waiting by the bathroom when Madeleine and I climbed out. Old Mother was right—it was ten to eleven, time for me to go get dressed. I wasn't sure I could. I wasn't entirely sure how I was breathing, honestly. Madeleine took one look at both of us, and let out this dismayed kind of chirp, and ran. Dale met my eyes.
“How bad was it?”
I just started bawling. Dale pulled me against his chest, left arm tight around me, splinted one resting on the back of my head.
“I can't do it.” It took a lot of stuttering to get it out, but I finally did. Dale just held me.
“They want me, don't they?”
I nodded. I've told you before Dale is one of those people who's always warm. I just tried to ignore everything I'd just heard and done in favor of the soft heat coming through his shirt.
“Nate?”
I looked up at him. He looked back down at me, and what I saw on his face terrified me.
“You said you could get my family out. You could get the kids out.”
I nodded.
“Nate. Listen to me.” He took my face in his hands, the way I did with Leah a thousand years ago, and made me look at him. “Every day of my life since they took you away I've wondered how the fuck I was supposed to live with myself knowing I'd have to turn this place over to one of the kids someday. A couple of times I thought about killing myself and then realized that wasn't doing anything except speeding up the inevitable. I talked to Mom and Dad about it, when the contract was renegotiated, and they just . . . didn't understand. I don't think Dad had time to feel anything about anything but Deanna when I was taking the park over. And Mom was never part of the park side. If I'm all it costs to make sure none of them have to face that, ever again, that's okay.”
“It's not okay—”
He shook his head at me. “Listen. You're going to make this work, and you're going to get Leah out of here, and you're going to go back to school, and you're going to meet some guy who'll take care of you and give you everything you deserve, and I'm going to become a footnote that happened to you a long time ago. And I'm okay with that.”
“I'm not okay with that.”
Dale sighed. “How long do you have to decide?”
“Until midnight.”
“Then really think about it. Don't shake your head at me. Think about it and know that you have my very enthusiastic co-sign, if you can really make it work. If you're safe, and the kids are safe, that's all I care about.”
I just buried my face in his shirt. He stroked my back for a minute or two and kissed my forehead.
“I hate doing this, Nate. Especially after what you just did.”
“But you have to send me to call.”
“Yeah.”
He squeezed me and let go. I didn't want to go to Twin Vale, but he was right: I didn't have a choice.
Mitchell was already mostly dressed by the time I got there. He took a look at me when I got in and stopped halfway through buckling his belt, eyes wide. “Holy shit. Are you okay?”
I'd almost gotten the tears under control, but as soon as he asked I was off again. He grabbed me a bottle of water out of the minifridge and waited until I was coherent enough to talk. Then he let out a low whistle. There was a long silence.
“Listen, I can't speak for all of us,” he said. “I know Anne and Darius will probably say no. Oliver will say yes. But if you need . . . . you know. Planning help. So it's not a total shitshow. If you decide to go through with it, I mean. I mean, there's good ways to go and there's bad ones, you know what I mean?”
I nodded at him. He put a hand on my shoulder.
“Hey. Throw a poncho down in the costume room and take some Advil and catch an hour. I'll pick you up around one to get on shift. You look like you need it.”
I decided to take his advice, but it didn't help a whole lot. When I got out into the park, it was like every single thing was being burned into my brain bright and crisp as some of Dale's photo filters. I won't forget today anytime soon. Not just the worst of it, either—I mean any of it at all. The kid with the huge cotton candy. The people laughing on the porch at Doc and Kitty's. Maxine joining us at two o'clock for a stagecoach robbery.
Dale's text at four o'clock, when I went on break.
I just want you to know my word still stands. And I love you.
I don't think I'd realized until that moment that neither of us had said it since we got back together.
Darius sent a photo from horror around a quarter to five: Leah and Scratch, taking a break by his enclosure. She was flopped over his back with her claws resting in his fur. She actually looked more exhausted than he did.
I sent out a text to the other actors before I could change my mind.
If anybody's willing to pick up the biggest bottle of Benadryl you can find while you're on break and bring it to me, I'll pay you back.
And then I sent Dale one.
I have to.
He texted back almost immediately.
Thank you.
I cried through the rest of my break. When I picked my head up my eyes were scratchy, and dry, and way blurrier than just crying should have made them.
I'd literally cried my contacts out.
I couldn't find them, so I decided I'd just go back out without them. I didn't need to see anymore with that nightmarish clarity anyway.
In the small moments where I could sneak into alcoves and behind buildings, I texted Dale a meetup time and Mitchell my plan. He told me to meet the rest of the crew in Casablanca at nine.
Dale didn't turn up to fireworks. I wasn't sure if I was upset to not have the time to spend with him, or if I was relieved to not have to face him.
At nine, I found myself facing the rest of the crew. Casablanca closed early—a lot of things in the park did, on the last night—so it was just us and Alex, doing her last-minute checks before heading out. She spotted me and blew me a kiss. I didn't have the heart to return it, so I just waved.
Then it was just dead quiet, except for the Pianist. I was hoping somebody might be angry, or accusing, but they were all just giving me the saddest looks I've ever seen.
Anne stepped forward with a bottle in her hands. “I have one of those store membership cards,” she said, and handed me the bottle. Six hundred pills. “You don't have to pay me back.”
And then she burst into tears. I didn't have enough left to burst, but I started crying too. Maxine hugged her, and then me too. Mitchell handed me a totally different bottle. Two, actually.
“I—” I stopped and looked down. Maxine took my hand.
“Better out than in, Nathan, just say it.”
“I'm going to need you guys to gather your pretenders at the Hollywood bathroom around a quarter to twelve. Don't be late. Caroline, I know you can't, but you'll probably have to come back here for him when we're done. I can't help, I have to—”
I guess I had enough left to burst after all, because I did. Caroline and Maxine wrapped their arms around me. I wanted to push them both off and tell them I didn't exactly deserve sympathy for murdering my boyfriend, but I wanted to cry more than that, so I just stayed put. Somebody took the bottles out of my hands at some point, and when I finally tapered off again and they let go Darius was standing by the bar, looking deeply regretful and pouring pint glasses of whiskey through a strainer back into the bottle Mitchell'd handed me. He capped it and brought it back to me.
“I grabbed a rolling pin first,” he said. “They're mostly dissolved, but it's not the full bottle. I think it hit as much as it could actually hold. There's a few hundred in there, anyway.”
I nodded at him. Maxine hugged me again.
“Think I'm going to send Anne and Mitchell to go pack Leah's old room,” she said. “Where are you meeting him?”
“Horror. The Whacky Shack. It was his favorite ride when he was a kid.” I paused. “Might've stopped a car in the perspective hallway after hours once with him.”
She started laughing, the way you do when it's surprised out of you. Then she took my hand and picked up the second bottle.
“I'll walk you over and get everything out of the breakrooms. Since I don't have a pretender to worry about.”
I nodded. Then I stopped.
“Why the hell is everyone so okay with this? Why isn't anybody asking what the fuck I'm doing? Running me right out of here?”
Maxine sighed. Then she met my eyes.
“Dale texted us after you texted him. He told us the last instruction he's giving us as our boss is to make sure you go through with it. And that you're okay, afterwards. I don't think any of us would be okay with it if he wasn't. But he's . . . he's weird okay with it.”
“He doesn't want to have to hand the place off to his nieces and nephews. It's why he never wanted kids himself.”
Maxine thought about it, then nodded a little. “Guess I'd die for that too.”
She dropped me off at the control booth with one last hug. I flipped on the power and the blacklights and turned off the sound effects. The Whacky Shack is a darkride, and most of its effects are just fluorescent paint under blacklights, but done in a way that really fucks with your sense of perspective. There are sound effects, though, and they're about as cheesy as you'd expect from something that went up in 1965.
One of Eileen's rides, actually. Maybe the only surviving one.
Dale was waiting for me at the ride car sitting outside on the tracks. He raised the lap bar. It took him both hands—they're not hydraulic, but they are solid steel. I tried to squint so I could at least meet his eyes, but mine were too swollen. I should've washed my face before heading over.
I just held up the bottle.
“According to the internet,” I said, and I had to stop and cough and clear my throat before I could keep going. “You're comatose before any of the . . . frightening parts happen.”
He just nodded and slid into the car. I got in beside him and at least tried to help him pull the lap bar down. Even he had to lean on it with both arms to make it go. There's normally a ride attendant to do it for you, and it's a lot easier from the outside.
I uncapped my water bottle and handed him the whiskey, then hit the button on the inspection remote and leaned against him, wondering why the hell he hadn't put on a coat—it was bitter enough outside even he was cold. He put an arm around me and we rattled through. I sipped my water, trying to stave off the inevitable headache. I heard him gulp next to me, a couple of times. I wasn't sure if he was trying to get through the whole fifth or not, but at least he seemed to be enjoying it.
Sounds stupid, doesn't it? I didn't want him to suffer while I killed him.
We went around five or six times. Maybe even a couple more. Then I stopped the car in the middle of the tracks, in the deepest part of the ride. Dale kind of roused himself, but I could already tell there'd be no permanent rousing happening—he was sluggish, and kind of slewed sideways into me just trying to sit up without the car to support him.
“Nathan?” Even my name came out slurred.
“I have to leave you here.” I started crying again. “They spent your entire fucking life telling you what to do, where to go, how to behave, who to fucking love, they don't get your body on top of that, Dale.” I pulled the second bottle from under the seat. This was no fifth of whiskey—it used to be one of Casablanca's jug-sized handles, but one of the other crew had filled it with kerosene and wiped down the outside for easy handling. “Viking fucking funeral.”
He let out a laugh that kind of sounded like rocks on a cheese grater, and tapered off in the middle as he nodded for a second. I wondered—with all the morbidity you can possibly get—how many of his organs were already shut down. “Kiss me goodbye?”
I was going to make it a good one for old times' sake, but I couldn't stop crying long enough. Finally I kissed his cheek, and then his forehead, and whispered “I love you too” into his ear before I forced the lap bar high enough to let me out.
I found the wall in the dark, and uncapped the jug, using my shoulder on the wall to lead while I poured a trickle of kerosene along old dry plywood. I still had a little left when I found the exit doors, and I dumped it in a puddle before stepping back and striking a match. Then I ran as far across the plaza as I could get before I heard the foom of air suddenly igniting.
I sat on one of the benches across the plaza and watched a line of fire travel rapidly down the hall, then start licking its way curiously upward. And then I started crying harder than ever, feeling the heat of the fire slowly increase. It had to be almost all the way back to Dale by now. He was so cold when I got out of the car, hands icy, cheek frigid. I had to wonder if he was awake to feel that last little bit of heat. I was pretty sure not, and not just because I was trying to comfort myself. He'd downed most of the fifth in about five minutes flat, and then we rode for another twenty on top of it.
He taught me how to balance a budget, trust my own judgment, and fuck like it was the last night on earth. I taught him how to slice vegetables without slicing himself, change a tire, and in the end I taught him how to die. One of us got a very, very bad end of that deal.
Eventually I felt someone sit down next to me. Two someones, actually. I ignored them until one of them took my hand.
“Nathan.” It was Oliver. “It's after eleven. You've got to get a move on.”
I just kind of ignored him. Somebody else took my other hand.
“Listen,” said Caroline's voice. “I know you're not going to be done crying for a very long time. And if you want to keep going until sunup once this is all over, I'll sit up with you. But if you don't keep going now, then this was for nothing.”
I finally nodded and let them pull me to my feet. It didn't even feel like they were my feet anymore. I was okay with that.
“Where to next?”
“Leah.”
“She's with Scratch. We saw her on the way in.” Oliver steered me toward the enclosure. Leah was waiting for us, Scratch's leash wrapped around her hand. There were tears in her eyes, too.
“I have to ask you to do something that's going to hurt you,” I told her. “A lot. But the good news is, after midnight, I never have to do it again.”
Leah nodded. I reached into my shirt pocket and pulled out the ring Dale gave me that morning, a little piece of paper rolled up inside it.
“I have to ask you to take this. And when I sign that contract, as soon as I sign it, no matter what you feel, no matter what it looks like, you have to read this. You can't forget.”
She nodded again, that don't-fight-me-you'll-lose look on her face again. I tucked the ring into her costume pocket and heard her hiss as the silver settled.
“I'm sorry. It's shitty. But if you can't touch it, neither can they.”
She nodded one last time. The four of us—five, with Scratch—headed for Hollywood. Darius was already waiting, the nurse standing and swaying by the bathroom. Maxine was leading the Diva. Anne and Mitchell were coming up behind with Madeleine. She looked vaguely uncomfortable.
“She wanted to bring her tiger,” Anne told me. “I told her it was probably better if she put him in the car for now.”
I nodded at her and waited for the bathroom to open.
Section Two
submitted by ninaplays to CrypticPark [link] [comments]


2019.10.26 02:12 PatronymicPenguin [Lolita Fashion] How to mistake a $1500 dress for a $150 dress and lose all credibility in the process

If you don't know anything about lolita fashion, let me give you a quick primer. Lolita is a style of Japanese street fashion originating in 1970s Harajuku. While the name might squick Westerners, the fashion has nothing to do with that awful pedophilic book. The style actually originates from a feminist rebellion by young women against societal and parental expectations that they should dress and act a certain way in order to attract a husband. Instead, early lolitas created clothing which was heavily influenced by cutesy little girl's styles in order to dissuade men from approaching them. These days, lolita is worn around the world. Most people only wear it for special occasions like meetups with other lolitas and outings. They have lolita events at conventions, sponsored tea parties, and a bustling online buy/sell community.
The fashion itself focuses on a few key elements: poofy dresses or skirts, modest cuts with minimal skin showing, lace/ruffles/frills, and carefully coordinated looks where every element matches. There are plenty of sub-styles but the most popular are sweet, classic, and gothic. Sweet lolita is full of pastel colors, baby animal motifs, sweet foods, and fluffy stuff. Classic looks like a Victorian doll, using more subdued color palettes and simple or older-looking prints. Gothic focuses on black or very dark colors, crosses, bats, and spikes, while still maintaining the key elements of the overall style. There's other sub-styles too, like wa-lolita, pirate lolita, military lolita, and country lolita, but most follow one of the main three styles.
Before I begin this story, I should familiarize you with the idea of 'brand' or 'burando'. Brand is the term used when referring to items made by Japanese lolita companies like Angelic Pretty (AP), Baby the Stars Shine Bright (BtSSB), Alice and the Pirates (AatP), Metamorphose (Meta) and Innocent World (IW). Lolita isn't cheap to buy and brand items tend to be the most expensive. A new release dress from AP often runs around US$550. They also tend to have very small sizing, especially in the bust. Secondhand brand dresses can be just as expensive depending on how rare the style is. Prior to rerelease, the AP print Cat's Teaparty was going for upwards of 1k secondhand due to the rarity and desirability. People get insane about finding their dream dress and are willing to pay prices which seem ridiculous to those not involved in the fashion. There are cheaper options out there, especially Bodyline (which has some juicy drama I'll write about in a post soon) and Taobao, but some people pride themselves on being labeled 'brand whores' for only ever wearing brand items.
Kelly Eden and the $1,500 Dress
If you're not familiar with Kelly Eden, she's a cosplayer, model, YouTuber, massive weeaboo, and subject of much drama. She's claimed to be the most kawaii person in the United States, said that her video about Sailor Moon makeup made the price go up, sold all of her Hello Kitty merch after Sanrio refused to sponsor her, and claimed Disney was copying her look in one of their shows. Her house is adorable but all in all she has a history of entitlement and spoiled behaviour.
Back in 2017, Kelly went on a trip to Japan to do some work on a TV show. While she was there, she and her friends decided to hit up Akihabara, a very popular Japanese shopping district. This isn't your average western shopping center with a Banana Republic and Annie Anne's Pretzels. It's multiple buildings across many stories chock full of electronics, games, collectibles, toys, trading cards - basically the dream of every Japanese media collector and gadget geek. It also hosts department stores with some niche street fashion brands, including the main store of Angelic Pretty, the most widely known and popular lolita brand in the world.
Kelly and her entourage decided to visit the AP store for some shopping. Her group wanders the store until she hits upon The Dress. The Dress is gorgeous, an elaborate pink number dripping in ruffles and bows. It's every bit an over the top sweet lolita dress. After telling her friend she thinks it must be expensive, her friend converts the yen price on the fly, saying that it's $148. $148. When the average price of a brand new AP dress is around $550. In her later video, Kelly claims that she knows the average price of an AP dress and that she assumed it was on sale. AP is rarely, if ever, on sale. She asks to try it on and the shop staff decline. Note that this is common in lolita when an item is particularly expensive. They don't want to risk the dress being ruined by someone while they're trying it.
Kelly has a large chest, much larger than what is typically accommodated by brand dresses, and says she isn't sure if it would fit her. After debating the price and if it would fit, she decides to purchase the dress, figuring she could just return it if it wound up not fitting her. After all, it's just $148. She never takes out her phone to convert the price. She never asks shop staff for a conversion. She never considers that AP and other lolita brands have a no returns, no refunds policy. She never asks any questions while handing over her credit card, even after her debit card was declined. She looks directly at the price tag, agrees that it’s $148, and buys it.
That night she gets an email from her bank asking if she tried to make a $1,500 purchase on her debit card in Akihabara earlier in the day. Having never actually significantly considered why the dress she bought was so cheap, she freaks out, says it wasn't her, and cancels her card. The exact card she'd been holding earlier in the day. In Akihabara. At the time there was supposedly fraud. And which was still in her wallet.
Riiiight.
At long last she finally manages to figure out that the dress she thought she’d bought for a great bargain is actually anything but. It’s not $148. It’s roughly $1500. Ten times the price she thought she’d bought it for. Like any spoiled influencer who realizes they’ve made a grave, grave mistake, she freaks out and demands a refund. A refund from a store where giving refunds is Not A Thing They Do. Ever. Note The Emphasis Here.
Thing is, as I said in the intro to this post, there is a bustling secondhand lolita market. Brand new dresses can regularly go for nearly the same price online as in store simply because they’re easier to buy or because the release sold out. Kelly also has a sizable fanbase which is already known for buying her spare stuff and would likely have zero problems getting someone to buy this expensive dress from her. But either she doesn’t know this or she doesn’t consider it, because she marches down to the store after they say over the phone that they won’t return it.
The store obviously isn’t happy to see her. They know why she’s here. She has a translator go back and forth with the store manager, demanding to return it, telling them she’s not leaving until she has her money back. Dresses sold at these stores can’t have any flaws or damage at all, so the moment it leaves the store, while it could be sold second-hand, they can’t take it back and sell it again. The store staff have to thoroughly inspect the whole dress to be sure it isn’t damaged or worn. At long last, after having a fit in the store, they reluctantly agree to return it and she leaves.
After getting back from her trip, Kelly publishes a vlog detailing the whole fiasco. She makes herself out to be the hero who made a mistake and was horribly inconvenienced, but some viewers are quick to point out that she’s definitely not the victim here. Word gets out to the lolita community proper and shit hits the fan. Lolitas, outraged by her mistreating the store staff and talking bad about their favorite brand, bash her to hell and back across social media. A popular snarky lolita YouTuber, Tyler Willis of Last Week Lolita News, does a video ripping her a new one. This is soon followed by another popular YouTube lolita, Lovely Lor, doing a less snarky, more explanatory video also explaining exactly what she did wrong and why everyone is so upset.
Kelly doesn't take it well. She tweets up a storm, blocks a lot of popular lolita and kawaii influencers including Tyler and Lor, and ultimately, unable to take the criticism, deletes the video. It now only lives on in the clips in Tyler’s video. Lolitas continue to make jokes about her to this day and she has zero respect or credibility in the community.
I have other lolita drama I can write up if there's interest, like how one brand's CEO hosted model hunts to find a foreign wife.
submitted by PatronymicPenguin to HobbyDrama [link] [comments]


2019.05.30 06:40 DarkSoulFood CBD Oil: My Conclusions From My Journal

I've been using CBD oil to make functioning socially easier for about half a year now. I've been experimenting with it, taking notes and recording it's effect on me. It's important to note I am not a doctor and that all of this is just my own research on how it effects me (one person).
What It Isn't
It's not a silver bullet. It's not going to fix everything. It won't have any effect on the aspects of CPTSD that are related to personality. It won't stop the inner critic that beats you up. It won't stop the outer critic that beats other people up. It won't remove emotion. It won't stop depression.
What It Is
The best way to describe it is it's sort of like a reset button on your nervous system. This is best demonstrated by its very pronounced effect on seizures as discussed in this video here.
Basically, via mindful meditation and emotional intelligence, I've been able to recognize when I start to become anxious or become triggered in public and then, I self administer CBD to treat it the same way a seizure is being treated in this video here.
It's hard to describe the effect to anyone who has never taken it, because it's so unlike any of the narcotics they've historically prescribed to treat PTSD and anxiety. It doesn't leave me feeling high. It doesn't impair me in way. It doesn't DO ANYTHING as much as it just removes the anxiety.
How It Works
How it works changes based on how you ingest it.
Smoking the cannabis itself or using a rig with concentrate is probably the fastest and most powerful way to gain the effect, but I don't recommend it for a number of reasons. One, it's less in demand than normal cannabis/concentrate and therefore, more expensive. Two, it's too powerful; it not only removes the anxiety, but leaves you in a slower, more relaxed, sluggish state, because it has a higher percentage of THC (the stuff that gets you high). Three, it's impractical and quite illegial to use in public.
With all that said, I do keep a small bag of it stashed in my place for really severe episodes. More on this later.
The best method is the tinctures known as cannabis oil, which is what is featured in the videos. It's made from cannabis, but the ratios of CBD to THC are more controlled.
The brand I use in Colorado is Mary's Medicinal Oil with a 50:1 ratio of CBD:THC. It's important that the oil have some degree of THC, because of the entourage effect.
I administer it by putting 3 drops under my tongue and allowing it to rest in my mouth until it's mostly absorbed.
Duration
I still, to this day, can't tell you how long it lasts exactly, because the effect is so subtle, I can't record it. I, basically, administer it when something makes me anxious or causes me to become triggered and then I do it again the next time something makes me anxious or causes me to become triggered.
Effect
How effective it is varies based on the severity of the issues or the episode.
I went to a Meetup at a crowded bar on Saturday. I didn't know anyone and the only point of the Meetup was to socialize with people and drink. I didn't drink anything and I went into the bathroom every hour or so to use the cannabis oil. I was relaxed the entire time and made a lot of conversation with people. I left on my own time and not because I was forced to by my issues.
Another time, however, involved a more severe, specific trigger. I was at my men's emotional support group. The room we used was double booked, so they wanted to go out and have drinks at a bar. This caused my flight or fight response to get triggered. While I have been able to socialize with groups of men at work and can socialize with mixed group events, I still to this day can't socialize with a group of all men without feeling like my life is threatened. In this case, I was able to use the oil to keep my composure, but I still had to leave to ultimately get a grip. It was bad enough that I smoked a joint of the CBD infused cannabis when I got home to put myself in a comatose state and then sleep.
You Said It's Made With Cannabis, but I Found It For Sale At Whole Foods.
Yes, that is made from hemp, not cannabis and there is a good chance you are buying snake oil. It's significantly less potent than what you buy at a cannabis dispensary and it's unregulated. You get very specific measurements as to what you are ingesting when you buy from a cannabis dispensary; this is not the case with stuff made from hemp and sold over the counter.
Is It Worth It To Move To a State Where Cannabis Is Legal?
Well... I did and I don't regret it. I've never had the level of social life I've had since moving to Colorado.
submitted by DarkSoulFood to CPTSD [link] [comments]


2018.12.04 11:15 DashEmbassyThailand Dash Embassy Thailand resumes Tuesday meetups followed by highly acclaimed new merchant onboard party directly across the street at Quaint Bar & Brasserie

Dash Embassy Thailand resumes Tuesday meetups followed by highly acclaimed new merchant onboard party directly across the street at Quaint Bar & Brasserie
Dash Tuesdays are officially back again! Starting at 7pm, tonight on deck we welcome Michael Messner, CSO of Coinexis as guest speaker at our weekly meetup at UnionSpace -- Coinexis is to rollout 1,000 Dash-integrated coin-to-crypto kiosks in over 10 countries, generating an estimated $36m in transactions every month -- followed by Dash Embassy Thailand's new merchant 'onboard entourage' event (designed to introduce the Dash community to newly adopted businesses through an organized experience) at Quaint Bar & Brasserie Bangkok from 9pm onwards.
Catch the live stream inside the videos tab of the Dash Embassy Thailand facebook page!
Recently onboarded Quaint is the latest entry to Thailand's trend-setting Dash merchants list.
submitted by DashEmbassyThailand to dashpay [link] [comments]


2018.11.21 09:05 ThickForm I'm getting married in 2 months and I have no friends to invite to it.

I moved for him. We wanted to do this 2 years ago but I didn't wanna get married bc I only had my parents and sister to invite as we were NC with relatives from both sides + the ones we talk to can't afford to fly out and see me do this. We decided to give it some more time so that I can expand my entourage as he also wanted me to have a life of my own.
I did it all. Meetups, events, dance lessons, bootcamps..... asking people to hangout (once went alone to a movie as no one showed up lol); was just not accepted as a friend. I have many acquaintances, for sure, but no one seems to want to go beyond that.
I got sick of it, I do have a life of my own even though it doesn't have closed friends in it. So, we decided to go for it. I'm inviting 3 people and he's inviting a 150!
Yay?
submitted by ThickForm to confessions [link] [comments]


2018.08.26 17:23 kevvinfeige How I want Captain Marvel's first interaction to the Avengers to look like and how Hulk would ultimately emerge out of Banner.

We [already] ( https://mcuexchange.com/captain-marvel-hulk-avengers-4/ ) know Scar Jo and Larson have teased an epic Hulk and Carol meetup in Avengers 4, so this is how I want it to go like
Banner and Black Widow are en route somewhere in a SHIELD entourage, when Carol shows up from space and unknown to the the snap, she haphazardly starts asking questions about Nick Fury's whereabouts from the agents, now the agents already stressed with all the chaos created due to the snap, and they find Carol's power set alien and dangerous, and proceed to arrest her. This mildly infuriates Carol and she brushes them aside, Natasha joins and Carol tosses her as well, this ends up triggering both Hulk and Banner and they merge to emerge as Hulk who has Banner's conscience.
Hulk and Carol go on to wrestle in an epic fight until the news of their fight reaches Ironman or Thor who ultimately stop them, this event leads to a mild tension between Banner and Carol continues throughout the rest of the movie.
making two characters fight before they become team up has more or less been a MCU culture, why should Captain Marvel be any different ?
any inputs are welcome :D
submitted by kevvinfeige to marvelstudios [link] [comments]


2018.05.23 21:47 vyre_016 [22M college student] I feel like I'm wasting my youth. No friends, no love life, no motivation

I've recently had two revelations.
One, my life is boring and miserable. I've been going through my journal and I realized all my entries are the same. They start with me complaining how shitty my life is and describing my day. I just barely make it through class and come back straight home. No gym, no clubs or bars, no museums or parks. I don't like travelling around the city cause I don't have a car and public transportation is shitty here. Still, I feel exhausted at the end of the day, as if I've been busy the whole day. I can't seem to find the time or energy for anything else, even for studying or doing homework. I've even stopped watching Netflix and playing video games.
Two, I had a confrontation with a really close friend. He's been ignoring me for the past couple of months since he started dating this girl. Instead of apologizing, he doubled down. Said I shouldn't be complaining about his behavior since I have few friends and can't afford to lose any. He then blamed it all on me, said I had brought it on myself by not trying to keep in touch with people.
Really hurt hearing that since for the past few months I've been really trying to break out off my shell. I've tried going to club meetups and shit, but it's been brutal so far. The farthest I can go is a conversation, but that's about it. Nobody even bothers to reciprocate or get back to me.
Classmates don't even bother for a second after class has ended. It's like people here are so scarily professional. They can't even spare a second for a conversation.
I've tried hitting up old friends from high school but they all seem conveniently busy all the time. I've personally greeted them on their birthdays just to get an excuse for a conversation. But no reciprocation. No one ever wishes me on my birthday, even with Facebook notifications. I mean, this would be hilarious if it wasn't so sad.
I used to feel jealous of extroverts. You know those people at the center of attention at a party. The ones that always run around with an entourage of friends and go on trips to cool places and shit. The ones that have around 100 birthday wishes at midnight on their Facebook wall. They post like a 1000 pics a year showcasing how good looking they are, how many friends they have, what places they've visited. People who can easily start a conversation and make others interested in them.
But now I'm just filled with a terrible bitterness. I detest myself. I really do. I know the world doesn't owe me shit. But I can't help but desire to be wanted for once.
My experiences with women have been terrible. Kissless, hugless virgin. After a year of a "long distance friendship" with a girl who I was slowly falling for, I finally got the chance to meet her at a party. She totally avoided me in front of everyone. As if she was ashamed of me. Afterwards, she texted me saying it having a conversation with me wasn't a big deal since we were never close friends at all. Hearing her say that broke my heart. This is the same girl who posts long ass, lovey dovey posts for her male friends on their birthdays. I know women don't owe me anything, but dating culture is absurdly competitive for men these days. The standards are way too high. I can't compete.
I don't feel like studying anymore. I can't pay attention in class. Every time I do anything remotely fun, my bitter thoughts hang over me like the Sword of Damocles.
I believe there's something terribly wrong with me that drives people away. Don't know if its my looks or my personality. But lately, especially after that argument, I've come to realize that this is meant to be. There is no escaping this. This is the rest of my life.
submitted by vyre_016 to depression [link] [comments]


2018.05.23 17:41 vyre_016 [22M college student] I feel like I'm wasting my youth. No friends, no love life, no motivation.

I've recently had two revelations.
One, my life is boring and miserable. I've been going through my journal and I realized all my entries are the same. They start with me complaining how shitty my life is and describing my day. I just barely make it through class and come back straight home. No gym, no clubs or bars, no museums or parks. I don't like travelling around the city cause I don't have a car and public transportation is shitty here. Still, I feel exhausted at the end of the day, as if I've been busy the whole day. I can't seem to find the time or energy for anything else, even for studying or doing homework. I've even stopped watching Netflix and playing video games.
Two, I had a confrontation with a really close friend. He's been ignoring me for the past couple of months since he started dating this girl. Instead of apologizing, he doubled down. Said I shouldn't be complaining about his behavior since I have few friends and can't afford to lose any. He then blamed it all on me, said I had brought it on myself by not trying to keep in touch with people.
Really hurt hearing that since for the past few months I've been really trying to break out off my shell. I've tried going to club meetups and shit, but it's been brutal so far. The farthest I can go is a conversation, but that's about it. Nobody even bothers to reciprocate or get back to me.
Classmates don't even bother for a second after class has ended. It's like people here are so scarily professional. They can't even spare a second for a conversation.
I've tried hitting up old friends from high school but they all seem conveniently busy all the time. I've personally greeted them on their birthdays just to get an excuse for a conversation. But no reciprocation. No one ever wishes me on my birthday, even with Facebook notifications. I mean, this would be hilarious if it wasn't so sad.
I used to feel jealous of extroverts. You know those people at the center of attention at a party. The ones that always run around with an entourage of friends and go on trips to cool places and shit. The ones that have around 100 birthday wishes at midnight on their Facebook wall. They post like a 1000 pics a year showcasing how good looking they are, how many friends they have, what places they've visited. People who can easily start a conversation and make others interested in them.
But now I'm just filled with a terrible bitterness. I detest myself. I really do. I know the world doesn't owe me shit. But I can't help but desire to be wanted for once.
My experiences with women have been terrible. Kissless, hugless virgin. After a year of a "long distance friendship" with a girl who I was slowly falling for, I finally got the chance to meet her at a party. She totally avoided me in front of everyone. As if she was ashamed of me. Afterwards, she texted me saying it having a conversation with me wasn't a big deal since we were never close friends at all. Hearing her say that broke my heart. This is the same girl who posts long ass, lovey dovey posts for her male friends on their birthdays. I know women don't owe me anything, but dating culture is absurdly competitive for men these days. The standards are way too high. I can't compete.
I don't feel like studying anymore. I can't pay attention in class. Every time I do anything remotely fun, my bitter thoughts hang over me like the Sword of Damocles.
I believe there's something terribly wrong with me that drives people away. Don't know if its my looks or my personality. But lately, especially after that argument, I've come to realize that this is meant to be. There is no escaping this. This is the rest of my life.
submitted by vyre_016 to offmychest [link] [comments]


2016.07.19 05:21 Captainmurica2 Anyone going to the Biker Games this Saturday?

As the title says. It seems to be a scavenger hunt, starting at 9am off the belt pkwy. It's organized by the group "Biker Entourage" on meetup.com
This would be my first meetup and was curious to see if anyone else on here might be going. Would be cool to have a potential Reddit team as it seems that's how it will be set up.
Link on meetup.com - http://www.meetup.com/BikerEntourage/events/231984889/?_af=event&_af_eid=231984889&https=off
submitted by Captainmurica2 to RideitNYC [link] [comments]


2016.05.24 04:34 trystane (Spoilers Everything) Manderly's will be the swing house in the show?

Mormonts have been established as the pro-stark house, and Lyanna Mormont's terse note to Stannis has been highlighted in the show in S05.
As the show likes to keep things simple, I initially assumed that the Mormonts would be given the responsibility of the north reminder.
However, the show has consistently shown Manderly as a major house, and their political affiliation is not clearly revealed yet.
They have also set up Davos (in the e05 scene with Sansa), as a skeptic of the famed northern loyalty.
The show can go in many directions here, but here are my thoughts at this point...
Which is why I think the Manderly's could swing the tide, by secretly throwing the lot in with Starks and 'reminding' them of northern allegiances. It could either be revealed directly by being present at the Mormont's meetup or at White Harbor.
The more exciting alternative for me - Davos is sent to White Harbor to check on which side Manderly is on, and see if he can use his diplomatic prowess to swing the house in Stark's favor. Davos being a neutral southerner (at least to most of the north), this seems a worthwhile gamble. Sansa does not go as its too risky.
Davos walks into White Harbor, only to see Wyman entertaining Bolton men or maybe Karstarks/Umbers who have been sent by Ramsay to ensure Manderlys toe the line. Davos is captured and planned to be executed. Once the Bolton men leave, Davos is brought in for execution, and BOOM we get the merman's speech. Davos gets a taste of what the true north means. Davos sails into the battle with the Manderly fleet via the White knife.
Can't wait how this will pan out. So far, the show this season has over-delivered for the most part. Hope they get this one right.
submitted by trystane to asoiaf [link] [comments]


2016.05.21 00:05 Alone-n-Rich 27/m Very Wealthy, Very Alone

I am socially awkward. I have no friends. I've never had any friends.
My dad passed away about a year ago and I received a substantial inheritance. You would think that would change my life. In some ways it has. I no longer work. Thing is, I have severe anxiety. The only socializing I got was from my job, and now that I don't need to do that anymore I'm not really interacting with people.
I've spent the better part of the year sitting alone in my house playing video games (single player, I'm too anxious to play online) and growing fat.
So I'm just going to put it out there. I'm hard to be around. Most people think I'm weird. I'm really, really, really shy. I'm not a bad person. I'm clean, but not attractive. I'm too nervous to be myself. If I met some people and they stuck with me through my awkwardness I think I could learn and grow into a likable person.
I've tried and failed to do this on my own going to meetups and stuff. I don't talk about my money to anyone because I don't want to brag. But it's all I have.
So here's the deal. I'm rich. I want an entourage. Three or four friends. I hope that we can become genuine friends. I need you to be willing to deal with my anxiety. When I first meet you I'm going to be afraid to laugh and joke because I'm just so uncomfortable in my skin. This makes people think I'm really weird and creepy. I promise you, i'm not a bad person. I'm terrified of you and what you think of me to the point that I can't relax.
Please, if you can tolerate me like that a couple times I do come out of my shell. Do you think you could put up with a weird and shy guy for a bit who eventually blossoms into a pretty cool dude?
If yes, and if we hit it off as friends, we can go cool places. Want to travel the world? I do too. I just don't want to do it alone. Once we get to know each other we'll take backpacking trips to Europe. We'll head to Vegas. We'll rent a kickass car and race it on the autobahn.
I live in upstate New York, but location isn't important--only caveat being, you must be in the US. Traveling out of country regularly is a bummer. PM me. We'll talk some. Maybe Skype. When we're all comfortable we can arrange to meet somewhere fun and public.
Want to hit Miami and check out the beaches? Maybe poke around the Grand Canyon? I can afford to do all this shit on a whim and pay for your expenses. I just am too afraid to do it alone. Help me get out of my shell and we'll do awesome shit together, all on my dime.
PM me, please.
submitted by Alone-n-Rich to MakeNewFriendsHere [link] [comments]


2015.06.19 19:27 420iszero It's been awhile since I've posted but today is a big day.. I made it to 90 and I'm pretty excited.

It's been a hard road... After 23 years of daily toking, giving up my favorite pastime wasn't easy but I woke up this morning 90 days clean!! Wooo! I never thought I'd go 3 months without smoking.. It's still a bit of a struggle on some days and moodiness and depressive thoughts come and go but for the most part I feel pretty awesome. The me today compared to the me from this day last year are TOTALLY different people and I'm quite happy about that. I gave up a lot of vices this year but quitting weed has been the toughest. Every single thing I did revolved around smoking it..
I hit the gym regularly now and am seeing some impressive results from that and have also gotten crazy into reading.. I've gone through 16 books in the last 12 weeks which for me is an insane amount.. My old normal was 2-3 a year.
I'm still having a little trouble socializing and being in a new state where I don't know anyone makes it kinda hard.. I've tried doing some meetup.com events and stuff but I feel like I'm still getting to know this new version of myself so I roll solo or with my dog most of the time. It's a big change from always having an entourage of stoners and druggies around me..
I'm doing this one day at a time and just really excited to have made it this far. If you read this far.. Thanks.. Sorry for the rambling babble..
Go Team Leaves!
90 days & Counting.
submitted by 420iszero to leaves [link] [comments]


2015.01.09 17:14 whirlpool4 [Fri, Jan 9 (tonight)] Live Jazz and Free Beer Party (Kissimmee)

What: The Mike Wallace Entourage featuring Dr. K invites you to join us for great Jazz and free beer until the keg runs out! Great menu with an oyster bar and Seafood favorites as well as a fantastic Vietnamese menu including noodles and Pho.
When: Fri, Jan 9, 7-10pm
Where: Saigon Harbor, 219 Broadway Ave., Kissimmee, FL 34741, FL (map)
source
submitted by whirlpool4 to orlando [link] [comments]


2014.10.03 01:04 Heartless_Queen [Chat] TURKEY DAY MEETUP IN NOLA, Y'ALL!!!

It's furreal happenin'. celltower was coming to meet me. Others found out and wanted to join in. SO LETS MAKE IT OFFICIAL. NOLA MEETUP!! Who will be there besides myself and celltower? I MEAN AREN'T WE ENOUGH? Well here we go:
Definites:
Celltower roastedmarshmellows winkandanod (He hasn't given a definite but he's coming if I have to drive out to MS and get him myself)
99% likely to come: laserguidedherpes
Maybes
d8000 lookatmeimop jamiejohns
Celltower will be arriving on Friday so that's when festivities will kick off. Roastedmarshmellow is either Wednesday or Friday. Get at me below if you wanna join in..or if you're on one of these list and are now definitely coming. Make sure you know the dances to Bunny Hop by Da Entourage, Cupid Shuffle, and Wobble baby by VIC b/c we love our line dances in the Big Easy! :)
submitted by Heartless_Queen to OKBestFace [link] [comments]


2012.08.17 02:02 PoppaTCS CLASSIC BAR MEETUP time Fri, Aug 17 @ 9:00 pm Nye's Polonaise Room no complaining

Nye's Polonaise Room is the best bar in the world. It has awards and everything. Come for the piano bar karaoke, stay for the martinis.
If you don't like the paparazzi just tell your entourage to shuffle off to a corner.
The map link is here and here's the review page from Yelp
Boilerplate small print to follow.
These meetups are for meeting folks from reddit. New folks are greatly encouraged to come on out! We are nice and friendly and there are usually other new people to bond with.It is summer construction season so be sure to check the MN DOT road closures site so you can make it to the bar!
Everyone is welcome! The meetup starts at 9:00 and usually ends at closing time. Generally a group will find an afterparty. Join us!
There are typically around 15-20 sexy, sexy people in attendance. When you arrive, the redditors can be found by looking for these nametags. You can have your very own nametag by sending a PM with your first name to PoppaTCS.
submitted by PoppaTCS to twincitiessocial [link] [comments]


2012.06.23 21:48 lukemcr Reminder: Global reddit meetup, Sac edition, is happening tonight at 8:00 at River Rock Tap House in Midtown

nix0n and I will be there a little early to get things set up, etc. We'll have a reddit alien poster thing so you'll know how to find us, and I've talked with the owner, so he knows to expect a crowd. 36 people have RSVPd on the redditgifts meetup page so far - http://redditgifts.com/meetups/sac-meetup/ - so I expect we'll have at least that number of people showing up.
Friends, hangers-on, posses and entourages are more than welcome.
I'm looking forward to meeting everyone tonight!
*edit 8 pm... Six people here so far. *
submitted by lukemcr to Sacramento [link] [comments]


2011.07.23 20:35 freakinmoney [FR] 7/22 Mountain View / #Close, Wings, etc...

Brief overview here as I'm still recovering from the evening. Even though the talent was lacking in downtown MV it was good to connect with a couple of BAS'ers; R88R and shrug1. What up gents!
To start, I came from another Happy Hour with friends (outside of BAS) and surveyed the scene at Zen Lounge. It was dead, but saw a 3 set at the bar starting the night early with shots. HB6 max so I wasn't really interested, but teased them when the Bar Back tried to clear the shot glasses and one was full. HB6 was like, "Whoa, I'm not finished!". Me: Looking at the employee, I'm with you buddy...you better let the woman drink...she's had a hard day..look at her she needs that shot like crack! Tongue&Cheek ;) They all laugh. At that moment R88R hits me with a text that he's with the "Upto29 Meetup Group". They're on the move. I figured, I'll be back to Zen Lounge so I left the 3 set on a high note and it was still early.
R88R, myself and the Upto29 Group head to "Tied House" where everyone is doing a bar crawl. I would say about 40-50 guys and ONLY 7-8 girls. Yep, I know what you're thinking...;)
OPEN: I lead through the sea of guys where I see a 3 set (One young HB8 spotted me earlier on the street and gave me the fuck me eyes, but I was on the phone. damn! haha They were already in set, but I spot another 2 set (HB8/HB7) at the bar trying to order drinks. Quick opener, "Have you ordered? No? Good then order me something, too!" without even letting them answer. HB7 smiled and started chatting her up, but was focused on HB8. HB8 had the Bshield up and needed to break it down by focusing on her HB7 friend. R88R winged while we loosened them up. It's funny when a pretty girl in the set/group doesn't get most of the attention they start changing their tune. Bshield was lowered. While in set, the "Upto29" group cleared out and I suggested we move to Zen Lounge.
Escalation/#CLOSE: Walking up Zen Lounge, the bouncer remembered from earlier (Always take time to be cool to the doorman and get their name if you can) and let the girls in free. DHV. We hit the bar and order drinks. R88R thanks for the cover and drink! :)
Shrug1 arrives with entourage (pawns and pivots haha) and wings with a great greeting in front of the HB8/HB7. "This guys a good man, etc!"
*shrug1 - Good seeing you, next time we'll hit the field in tandem!
After the great wings, I shift focus from HB7 to HB8 and grab her arm to the dancefloor. Always in state and completely confident. Escalate HB8 with some booty bumpin and then R88R joins with HB7. We all have a good time droppin it like it's hot. Great oppt. to kino/grind and gauge interest level. If you can get away with a booty slap and then grind inside, between her legs this is the gateway to Fclose! haha DJ switched up the set before I could escalate as they hit the bathroom. R88R and I were discussing that we could most likely pull them to his spot for an afterparty and close the deal...right when they spot us at the bar. I sensed that HB7 was feeling a bit dissed and said she had to go because of work tomorrow morning. (Who works on a Saturday morning? haha) Before she could leave with HB8 I put my arm around the waist of her and confidently say into her ear, "Before you leave, I want us to see each other again...what's your number?" Done deal. Note I don't claim this to be a big victory and don't consider myself a Master PUA by any means. Actually a F*close with multiple women is a victory in my book. haha
TAKEAWAYS: Good night overall, despite no notch to the bedpost, but good time dancing and meeting other wings.
From a high level perspective, I like that our community supports each other in many ways. Hell, if I can do this, then anybody can! Yes, all that stuff you read about being in state, cocky&funny helps but most of all having a good time is key! Networking with other wings to ideally become a better person overall, expand your social network and meet the woman or women of your dreams.
I thought this was going to be brief, but I've went on and rambled a bit as this is my first FR.
I'll see you gents soon and have a good weekend!
-freakinmoney
P.S. After the 2 set and R88R left, the HB6 from the 3 set earlier spotted me...that's another story....
submitted by freakinmoney to BayAreaSeddit [link] [comments]