“The essence of a role-playing game is that it is a group, cooperative experience. There is no winning or losing, but rather the value is in the experience of imagining yourself as a character in whatever genre you’re involved in, whether it’s a fantasy game, the Wild West, secret agents or whatever else. You get to sort of vicariously experience those things.”—Gary Gygax, co-creater of Dungeons & Dragons
“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”—Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
This is not another "where I was during 9/11 story". Or maybe it is.
Over the years I’ve found it’s the friends I had during tragedies that are more memorable than the tragedies themselves. Perhaps that’s how we cope with the enormity of trauma. Breakups, surgeries, terrorism attacks, natural disasters…each of those moments in my life have a specific people attached to them. People that helped me get through it and watched how it changed us as the years went by.
Today, we are all happy, successful and (relatively) mature adults. But this day makes me feel small and scared of the world outside of my college apartment, when my friends and I watched the news for hours, unsure of what was to happen next.
Even if we haven’t seen each other in person for (holy hell over a decade) or talk beyond social platforms, I’d imagine Ana Hanisch and Tara Martin will always live in my heart this day until I’m very very old. And for that, I am grateful.