DRAGONCON: Post-Con Depression

Happens every time. Conventions are like mountaintop experiences, trapped in a small space with people who share your interests and most of whom bathe. You can crack a joke that the convention center layout was obviously designed by Hal 2000, and you don't get a funny look that says, "What the hell are you talking about?" Hey, sometimes you even get a laugh. Because they've seen the same movies, read the same books, and they get it.

You can wax literary about Wonder Woman as the balancing archetype of truth between Superman's archetype of justice and Batman's archetype of vengeance. You can discuss the impact of feminism in latter-day science fiction television and warrior-woman imagery in fantasy art. You examine the impact of Victorian sexual repression on the popularity of Bram Stoker's vampiric vision and compare it to the evolution of the vampire in modern popular culture as related to the sexual revolution(s) in the latter half of the 20th century.

In short, you geek out. With 30,000 of your closest friends. And Dragoncon TV to boot.

But then comes the end of the con. The dealers offer their please-God-don't-make-me-cart-this-stuff-back-to-my-van sales. The panels are thinly attended as people race to pack up their stuff and get out of the hotel before someone calls security to evict them and their nine roommates. The bill arrives, and everyone is shocked to see that yes, they really do charge for wireless access, the wankers.

Post-con depression. It's time to leave Rivendell and return to the world of the mundanes. Time to go back home, to toss the black T-shirts in the washing machine and send the velvet cloak to the cleaners, because the smell of whatever they were serving in the Stargate party is really strong.

Time to go back to work, where you have to pretend the elven necklace is something you saw at Claire's instead of a handmade beauty designed by a goth girl with nine piercings in her face. And when you slip and crack a joke about going Full Metal Buffy on someone, they blink and say, "Huh?"

Worst of all, time to hug your friends goodbye, wave farewell as we all go home, and resolve to do this again next year - only better.

Post-con depression. For me, it's not so bad. Unlike 90 percent of con-goers, I'm coming home with more money than when I left. Okay, after I pay the hotel bill and outstanding promotional expenses and order books for the next con, it's not so much of a profit. But as of this morning, I sold every single book I brought with me to Atlanta, and who can complain about that?

As I write this, I am sitting in an airport restaurant. A man is playing the piano, a strange medley that jumps from familiar tune to familiar tune without the slightest pause, and it all sounds written that way. He has paused only once in the last twenty minutes, and I am the only one who clapped. When I'm done with my chicken sandwich, I will go over and put money in his jar. I can, because I did very well this year. And he is doing good work.

He's making it impossible to succumb to post-con depression. Hey, I could use some sleep. There is certainly plenty of laundry to do. But really, all I regret is that I won't see these people for another year. I miss them already. The mountaintop was great this year, folks.

Let's do it again, what do you say?. Next Labor Day, same place. Only better.


  1. Yes, most definately, Elizabeth! I had a wonderful time too! See y'all next year! :)

    Sabrina )O(

  2. Anonymous3:31 PM


    Then again, you can return to the world where nearly *all* of the people bathe, so yay!

    Me, I can only take so much of hardcore sci-fi/fantasy fans before I start to twitch. :p

    You're probably just suffering from emotional and nervous exhaustion.

    Yarha, Still Among the Scientists and Engineers

  3. I'm also in PCD mode. We're so glad you enjoyed DragonConTV, but sad that you miss us ... so check the website & at least let the videos live on in your computer :)


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