When looking for a job, it is often said that one should not announce that fact to current co-workers until confirmed receipt of a new job.
I don't know what the socially-accepted customs are for announcing the cessation of smoking.
Recently, I went to Dark Odyssey: Fusion. While there has been a perceived lack of posting by me in this old space, I have been fairly reliable for posting several regular posts - my annual birthday post, one after events such as Frolicon, Mid-Atlantic Leather, and International Mr. Leather when I attend them, and my post-Camp posts.
I really haven't felt much drive to write about Fusion either.
It's a hard event to write about. I can't say that I didn't have fun, or that it was an awful event, or that there weren't highlights - because they in varying bits wouldn't be true. I don't want to toss aside the play I did have, the time I spent with friends old and new, the classes I taught, or just the pure camp moments that are always present.
I've been reading a lot of the post-event writings on FetLife, and I see a lot of "best event ever" and other posts like that... and it makes the hardness, well, harder...
...because when I think of the event, it is hard to shake the word "tree" out of the equation.
You see, OINK is home to me. I have a bond to that place, in both its physical and conceptual forms, that has been built over a decade of experiences - love, grief, change, joy, sorrow, laughter, friendship, bonds, etc. I can almost map my entire development as an adult being with experiences that link back to OINK cabin. When I walk onto that porch, walk through that door, I feel just as home as I do as in my apartment. It is my second home, my second skin...
And a tree dropped onto it. A tree fell on the roof, punctured it in two difference places, shifted the entire structure so that one of our doors would no longer close properly. A tree fell on our home, and for the first time EVER, I had to leave camp before it was time to leave, face reality and stay in a hotel, eat non-camp food, drive my car, be a responsible adult, plan real life things.
For the first time ever, my OINK home was not my home.
I am very proud to be a part of OINK. I am very proud of my fellow OINKers. My heart swelled with pride as we banded together that dreaded Friday, how we teamed up and cared for one another, collecting our tentmates out from the storm, keeping our fellow cabin mates dry and safe, banding together and never separating as we regrouped in the cafeteria, and mounted our own Occupy movement within the dungeon. How we caravaned together, an OINK convoy out to Aberdeen for a safe comfy space to rest our heads for the evening.
My heart broke as one by one, we fell apart on Saturday. My mind whirled with jealousy and confusion as the entire camp proceeded to camp away as I was left standing, broken and confused and for the first time ever doubting I even wanted to be standing in Ramblewood anymore.
I stood in front of OINK, watched as workers diligently worked to take a big fucking huge holy motherfucking god we should be fucking dead TREE off of our roof. I stood and looked at my home, with crime scene tape keeping me from touching it, walking in it, keeping me from my stuff inside it... I looked at my damaged home, my pierced roof, my safe space suddenly so not fucking safe anymore and cried my fucking eyes out.
We moved back in to OINK on Sunday. OINK made one last stand, and banded together as a group to take back that space and make it safe again. For a day and evening of real camp, real experience, normality in as much as we could pretend we could make it.
Camp was not bad. I played. I fell in love with my wife over and over again. I grew jealous as she played with someone else and dealt with that jealousy and realized that it came from love and turned it into some sick sense of pride in seeing my wife turn into a bit of the whore I am. Together we reconnected with someone who we love very, very much, even though we nor she acknowledge it publicly, and we're not even sure if she knows how much we consider her ours. I played with new people, I spend time with my leather family, I lived.
But my home was wrecked, and my heart was slightly broken, and it was hard, and I am still not over it, and neither are my friends, and I still hurt.
I didn't have one fucking cigarette during, or since. 7 weeks and counting.