Monday, May 2, 2011

This too, shall pass

"Do you mind if I step out to smoke while you set up the next board?" Hip Gamer asked as Never Too Old started pulling out a new map and arranging mini-figs on it.

"No, go ahead. It'll be a moment," Never Too Old replied.

Hip Gamer and Something Catchy went outside while Sam and Curly milled around getting drinks and chatting with Never Too Old. Walking Hyperbole had left earlier that evening to rescue Adorable Nurse from a flat tire, so Curly was filling in for him.

I stayed in my chair, feet tucked under me to try and keep them warm. The weather had turned suddenly cold and wet that day, and the house was protesting the abuse. Pulling out my iPhone-turned-iTouch, I first checked in on Facebook and then scanned over Twitter to see what was what. As I idly made my way up the series of tweets an announcement that President Obama would soon be addressing the nation caught my eye.

That's strange, I thought to myself. Why would he be having a press conference this late on a Sunday night?

About that time, Hip Gamer and Something Catchy returned and took their places at the table, and the quest to rid the temple of invading Gnolls resumed.

My character (Moira, not Annie) had just buried an arrow in the shoulder of a Gnoll when the sound of Mario catching a mushroom filled the air. All eyes turned to Hip Gamer as he pulled out his phone to check the text message.

"Holy crap," Hip Gamer said, surprise plain upon his face. "I'm glad Rapier Wit keeps an eye on the news. Osama bin Laden's dead!"

"I had wondered why the President was holding a press conference..." I mumbled to myself, pulling my phone back out and accessing my list of political blogs.

Everyone babbled atop one another as more details of the raid emerged. Poor Never Too Old kept trying to push us through the encounter so we could wrap up for the night, but I at least was distracted from the game.

It was difficult to wrap my brain around the idea that bin Laden was dead. 9/11 occurred my senior year of high school, and in many ways was the defining moment when I entered into the adult world. That day marked the first time when I could truly understand the implications of a major event. Nearly ten years later, the man responsible was finally taken down.

The euphoria of the moment startled me.

It is a bizarre moment to realize that you are celebrating the death of another human being. But I also recognized that I would have felt that same euphoria had I heard that we had captured bin Laden, as opposed to having killed him. It wasn't that he was dead--it was that that particular chapter of our history was now, hopefully, closed.

An end of an era, if you will.

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