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Fandom & Falling in Love

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But it’s hard to fall in love with a moment, a sound, a feeling that I can never touch, hold, or look in the eyes. They’re not quite illusions because I can take them in—they have substance for my eyes and ears, and even my skin if I turn the volume up—but these moments are not of this world. Though they open me to my power and joy and mystery, as any profound relationship should, these moments, like stars, are their own.

They don’t even belong to their creators, though I often trip over that fact. After all, love is love, and I just want to get closer. So I latch onto the people who embody that moment, that sound, that feeling. I scour the internet for any time Maggie Rogers mentions Fallingwater—how she wrote it, its story, what it was like to perform it on SNL. I watch endless interviews and con panels with Eliza Taylor and Alycia Debnam-Carey, hoping they’ll say something about what it was like to be part of that scene. (Maybe they even enjoyed the kissing? Why do I hope that?) The same goes for Piper Perabo and Lena Headey. It’s been a little easier with Tori—I’ve loved her a long time and have seen her live many times, and being in her presence, her piano ringing through the space, seems to satisfy my longing.

But I still write her letters (and sometimes I send them). I tweet at actors and musicians, hoping my clever comment catches their attention. I secretly hope they read my fic. I want them to see me. I want them to know how they’ve affected me. And I want them to reply.

I know it’s not really fair. However thoughtful and talented and intentional they are, I know it’s not Maggie or Alycia or Lena that I love—it’s what they create.

(And I know it’s not just them. It’s also writers, other musicians, producers, sound-mixers, and a host of people who came together to cause me to fall in love—but that’s not very romantic.)

I often try to imagine the moment when their creation launches out of their orbit and into the gravity of so many other people’s experience. What it’s like when someone like me takes their work for themselves, when someone like me assumes (or hopes) so much about who they are because of the way I experience their creation.

I imagine it might be like a drug—the affirmation and adoration.
But then comes the expectation of creating more, so the drug doesn’t run out.
Maybe it gets tiring trying to keep up.
Maybe it means more to the fans than it does to you.
Maybe it gets lonely when people constantly conflate your creation with you.
It was just one scene out of a thousand that season…
I wrote that song at a very specific moment in my life…

But there I go again, assuming, trying to get closer.

How can I love these moments without needing more from them?

Then again, needing more from them is what brought me into fandom. The endless longing to get inside them has introduced me to some of my best friends.

I travelled to Belgium once on a whim to hang out with other fans for a weekend. Left on a Thursday and came back on a Monday. One fan I met many years ago was in my wedding party last summer. Another new fan friend and I talk Christianity and being queer on Tumblr. Fandom has given me my people.

The endless longing to get inside these moments leads me to write: fic, letters, this.

I pull from own world, my own struggles, to fill the space they leave me with. These moments have sparked a life in me I didn’t know I had.

So maybe the real question is: what holds me back from making these moments completely my own?