I help Bumble tonight with his costume—just one big sash/belt of ammo, I think, though I’ve never considered what Chewy wears, or ever seen him access this belt/sash thing. All I know is that this one carries different flavors of Pop-Tarts. His costume is simple—Chewy doesn’t wear much. We throw in a leash to make it fun. He helps me find my white shirt—it isn’t under the bed, in the closet, on the floor, in the laundry, and for a guy who doesn’t wear clothes, he is very observant about where I put mine. He does a little roar that means, Come here. He found it hung inside a suit jacket in the closet, hiding like a matched pair you assume must go together.
You have your casual acquaintances, friends, good friends, and then best friends, and then REALLY good friends (who might be lovers). Very few of them are the people who are “your weird.” You have to find them. They are the people you can truly be yourself around—manic craziness, stupid ideas, riffing off each other, laughing all night, even with your flaws they enjoy you. They will do any weird idea you suggest! And they are (this is the important part) Enthusiastic!! about your idea, and they get into it as much as you do. This is Bumble. He is my Weird. I met him in the Arctic when I was a prospector and I did not “get him,” but that didn’t deter him–he pursued me because he thought I was cute and funny. And one thing led to another, throw in a deer and some child dentist, we fell over a cliff, he BOUNCED, and then we started to “get” each other. We didn’t speak each other’s language, but we spoke each others’ Weird. Weird is a language that can bridge cultures. I learned to interpret his moans and roars and growls, and the gestural language he uses, and that wasn’t easy. But we both spoke the same dialect of Weird, and that made me love him.
And now, look at us: Yukon Solo and ChewBumble going to a Halloween Party. Look at the way he smiles when he puts on a costume. He just lights up! Stories are fun to share, but stories are even more fun to act out—to enter in a more physical way. We cosplay characters a lot—because he loves it, but also because inside a story is where I get to be with him in a vulnerable and open way, just letting the story take us over. I think a story wants to take us over. And when we give in to it, we discover things about ourselves. When we are doing that with a partner—by reading it to each other, by cosplaying, by role-playing, we discover each other in different ways. He likes to go to Comic cons, Dragon Con, Gen Con—though, as always, we can’t stay long because I’m a freakin’ beacon for every supernatural thing out there, and crowds are not usually good for that (see the poltergeist that found us at GenCon and the anxiety-ridden griffin at Dragon Con). We have to be careful, but I found it worth the risk to see him “play” Fafhrd, or Sully, or a Balrog, or Obelix and be with him in that story. We LARP too sometimes. If it’s a D&D campaign, everyone assumes he’ll be the barbarian, but he prefers to be the cleric and heal everyone. We share so much Weird. Bumble gets me. So, I’m with him as often as I can be. He has his own life as a highly sought-after mural artist who works exclusively at night (that Arctic night vision he has!), and so we have to coordinate times we can be together.
Tonight, he buttons up my shirt tenderly, leans back to check me out, gives a thumbs up, insists on combing my hair when it won’t cooperate, licks it down. He is weird, but he’s my weird. I encourage you to go find your Weird. They are out there, waiting for you, searching for you, hoping for you. I hope Weird finds you, chases you, falls with you off a cliff and bounces back up with you. And I hope you hold onto Weird with everything you have.
* Big Guy/Little Guy pairs we’ve been at Cons and parties and costume nights at the club. You may have seen us as:
Asterix and Obelix
Robin Hood and Little John
Inigo Montoya and Fezzik
Captain Kirk and the Mugato
Aang and Appa (from Avatar: The Last Airbender)
Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo
Gilgamesh and Enkidu
Gandalf and the Balrog
Beauty and the Beast
Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser
Laurel and Hardy
Mike and Sully (from Monsters, Inc.)
Thor and Hulk (from Thor: Ragnarok)
but, you know, Han Solo and Chewbacca is our favorite.