From 8am this morning to 8:45pm tonight, I was on my feet, except for about twenty minutes when I wolfed down some delicious Cambodian food (yes, it was good...). I'm now home, my feet are killing me, I'm tired and hungry...
But, boy, was it worth it!
As the crowds dwindled and people headed for their cars or public transportation, I chatted with two women from the south. We talked books, families, traditions. We discussed growing up in the 1970s and 80s, and raising kids in today's world. We talked and laughed and got to know each other, three people who never met before and, if not for this event, would most likely never have met.
As I walked exhausted to my car, I thought about the day that had been, where tens of thousands of people gathered under one massive roof and just existed with each other. It's something where, in our modern world, we hardly ever have to do. We can live a literal solitary life, almost never having to interact with anyone. Yet, conventions and attractions tear down those walls we sometimes build up for protection. We see each other, talk to each other, smile and say (with genuine meaning...), "It was a pleasure to meet you."
Tomorrow we'll gather again, stand for hours upon hours, shake hands, ask questions, and smile--lots of smiles. Though my comic con experience is somewhat limited, I hope to always remember a few years ago when I met pro wrestler Ron Simmons, or the time Richard Paul Evans and I chatted about writing--just him and I--for about 30 minutes, or, most recently, getting to know two cousins, Sherrilyn and Laura, a Tennesseean and a Georgian, who made me smile. When it comes right down to it, you can throw away the banners, booths, the photo ops, and, yes, even the books (gasp...), because what makes these events amazing are the people.