I Am Still A Geek
Rediscovering Myself In The Middle Ages
by John Andreula
edited by Kodid Laraque-Two Elk
I used to be a geek.
At least that’s what I used to tell myself.
My girlfriend and I used to wait after hip hop shows to meet the performers. On many nights we would linger as the venue cleared out at length to get our tickets or CDs autographed by the headliner. Occasionally we would even invite an artist to party with us after the concert. Sometimes they accepted and hung with us. Those are some fantastic memories.
In my younger days I used to play MAGIC: THE GATHERING, a collectible card game. I customized countless decks to battle my nerd friends in games of summoning and spells. I spent so many hours organizing cards into binders and boxes. I would be ecstatic when I completed a entire set, and I completed quite a few. It only cost a boat-load of money and time trading my cards with the other dorks.
Once I even made my own MAGIC card by cutting up a MARVEL trading card of Carnage and taping it over a quintuple I had of Benalish Hero from 1994’s Revised set. I wrote in my own abilities, as well as power and toughness on the custom card. My friends never approved of me using a 18/18 flying, first-strike creature that only costs one mana to cast in actual game-play though.
I remember the peak of my geekdom from the years in my high school’s band. The percussion section was my home away from home. My bandmates were my second family of dweebs.
One time I played four bass drums at Giants Stadium for our state’s marching band tournament. Later I would be in the concert band pit for President Clinton’s second inauguration festivities, where I drummed again. It was all even dorkier than it sounds.
I reminisce fondly on those moments and memories. Disappointment wells up inside as I consider I am no longer the epic geek I once was. It saddens me to think about maturity and responsibility in terms of having to adjust for life’s constantly evolving priorities.
Then, inevitably, I remind myself that I am still a geek. I am just an evolved one. Obviously, I’m considerably older now. My tastes have changed dramatically. The value placed on time and money has flipped on its axis from that person I was back then.
The time I used to spend with my lady going to shows and nerding out over music is now spent differently. My girlfriend went on to become my wife and editor, and now we have a plus one. My family and I visit national parks and complete scavenger hunts to earn junior ranger badges. We flies kites and go to local festivals. In a lot of ways, it’s not so different from the memories we collected at the hip hop concerts.
Readers who have been following my weekly column here at 5280Geek.com know from THE CUT that I’m selling off my old collectibles. In modern times, this aspect of my life is the one that I get most nerdy about. Valuation and online selling is my favorite present hobby. I enjoy it as much as the younger me enjoyed MAGIC.
A few years ago I sold my complete set of the previously mentioned Revised Edition for over one thousand dollars to a fellow in Singapore. That was one of my best sales online to date. It was an awesome way to connect the ghost of my geek past with the modern 2.0 version of him.
Finally, the hours I used to spend fooling around in the school band room pretending to play drums are now spent working out. I run, bike, snowboard, and participate in high interval interval training instead. One of my largest time commitments in exercise happens at a traditional Chinese Kung Fu school. I totally geek out learning self-defense and discipline.
Strangely, I even play the cymbals during my school’s many Lion Dance performances around the state. And ironically, I have developed more coordination from my martial art than I ever did in all those years of banging away on percussive instruments.
As Jean-Baptise Alphonse Karr so eloquently stated, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
The friends I waited on line with to see STAR WARS EPISODE I THE PHANTOM MENACE or the Harry Potter films at the various movie theaters on opening night will tell you, I used to be a geek. And even though I haven’t seen AVENGERS ENDGAME or any GAME OF THRONES yet, I still am. I’m just a different geek. Considering that, I cannot help but wonder about the geek I’ll transform into in my twilight years.
John Andreula is a geek residing in Westminster, Colorado.
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