Today's business-taking trip downtown (yes I am a big financial wizard who must visit downtown on a regular basis--actually my bank is down town and it is easier to go there on the train than it is to find one of the suburbanite branches in their carvenient locations), was chock full of kids who think they are in Lord of the Rings. (I'll wait while you catch up after that last parenthetically damned sentence.) The phenomenon is kind of an outgrowth of the D & D geeks I remember so fondly from my highschool days, Goths, and kids who hung out in coffee shops and played way too much Magic the Gathering. LOTR defined their lives for these kids, and they clung to it: brown pants they pretent are really leather; green or black shirts they pretend are woven by some elf; and talismans--many many silver talismans.
On the train there were a passel of them wearing their talismans and talking about magey kinds of things. It wasn't as if they plannned to be there, since they would get on the train at different locations, some recognizing each other, some ignoring each other. Usually there are a mix of kids on the train along with other folks not so ardently in search of some identity: the punker kids, the hippy kids, the Columbine kids (yes they dress like the famous Columbine murderes), the Goths. Other folks on the train are positively non-descript, other than the occasional homeless habitual drunk who decides to risk being hasselled by the transit cops for not paying his fare and at the same time scare the hell out of some suburbanites riding the train to beat the traffic so they can see the pretty flowers at temple square.
But not today. Today the magic was in the air and the kid who desperately wants to be Galdalf to make it all better with a spell, and the girl who wants to be Galadrial to make it all make sense with some Elfen wisdom, and the kid who wants to be Sam so he thinks he might actually have solid and real friends in this world, occupied a good two thirds of the train. I suppose one wizardly LOTR kid could have cast a spell and brought on this confluence of role-players, but I prefer to think it was the nice spring day that brought them out of the dark basement appartments where loop tapes of the 11 hour saga play continually, without pause for months on end.
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