You really didn't think I was going to let October draw to a close without saying anything, did you? Shame on you... :)
This entire month finds me in a place familiar to much of New Eden: a period of transition. How thoroughly apropos that it occurs coincident with the arrival of the American autumn.
Under ordinary circumstances this is my favorite time of year. The brilliant explosion of colors in the leaves, the brisk snap of chilled air at dawn and dusk. Heralds of the holiday season to come, a season spent in the warm company of family and lifelong friends.
This particular year, it marks a painful transition. One that has taken me out of the game for more time than I care to acknowledge.
Sparing you the gory details, suffice it to say that RL requires my attention. Which is absolutely devastating, because I've come to realize that my day-to-day interactions with my alliance-mates constitute a support network that is deeper and more complex that I had previously considered. These are my friends. My brothers (and sisters)-at-arms. My sounding board. My purpose and my satisfaction.
Yesterday, after not having logged in to comms for well over a fortnight, I signed in. I was greeted with the old familiar cheers, my mates celebrating my return with a healthy dose of ball-busting and good spirit. I could feel the rush in the back of my jaw, my pulse quickening, my eyes dilating. Like a heroin-addict deprived of his sticky brown sugar uncovering a long-forgotten score. I was home.
Logging into the game would have proved dangerous so I deferred, instead catching up with my friends and lobbing barbs as they were lobbed towards me. I never responded to BB39, asking us to define our home in New Eden because I never could answer that question to my own satisfaction. Consequently I never published an entry. Yesterday, I found out why. My relationships with these men and women may have begun with Eve, but they endure without her. Game or no game, it is within my friends that I make my home.
This isn't one of those grand, "I'm leaving the game. X up if you want my stuffs..." sign-offs. I will return to New Eden when my affairs on Earth are settled. The meta-game, and my participation in it, will go on. Eve...heh...she stays with you. And I miss her, after all. But if I'm really being honest, I miss my friends even more.