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Closet Cosplayer

On the train, on my way home yesterday, I was sitting behind these three girls who would not shut up. And I have the irritating quality, bred by every single writing teacher I’ve ever had, to eavesdrop as much as humanly possible. It’s reached a point where I have no control: whenever a conversation is in earshot, I listen. It distracts me.

So these girls were right in front of me and were physically incapable of shutting the fuck up. One of them had a digital camera, so she was scrolling through her little library of photos, showing her friends all sorts of embarrassing or amusing pictures. She had a little anecdote attached to each of them. I wanted to punch her in the back of the neck.

The girl sitting right next to Camera Girl looked familiar from behind, which was the only view I got from her. For some reason, her hair reminded me really strongly of someone, but I couldn’t place who. I didn’t think she was actually someone I knew (I hoped not, anyway); she just had a similar hairstyle with similar odd highlights.

Camera Girl switched to a new picture, and all three of them started giggling. Familiar Hair Girl said, “Oh my God, I didn’t know you had these pictures here.”

Camera Girl responded, “Oh, yeah, this is my cosplay camera.”

The instant I heard that, I started laughing. And I could. Not. Stop.

Seriously. All three girls looked at me, which made me laugh harder, and I, unable to speak or breathe, pointed vaguely at my book, implying that I read a particularly funny passage. Something in their faces led me to believe they didn’t buy it.

I continued to laugh for the majority of the train ride home (about twenty minutes). Sure, I didn’t laugh for the entire time, but as they continued to talk about anime conventions and people dressed as various characters and that whole bizarre community, I started thinking about the whole idea of it and would start laughing again.

Camera Girl had one anecdote that I remember almost verbatim. “do u rmbr tha <3 spike spiegel <3 guy too? he had a buqouet of rozez & when he saw me, he came right up 2 me & gave me a roze & smiled :-)" "OMG THATS SO SWEET!!!!!!!!!!!!" her friends responded fawningly. I learned three things at that moment: (1) If I want to get dumpy girls dressed up like anime characters to talk to me, I need to invest in a buqouet of rozez and get to work on my crotchless Spike Spiegel costume. (2) The reason why I recognized Familiar Hair Girl was because her hair was styled exactly like Faye Valentine. (3) The fact that I knew what they were talking about, the fact that I own 26 episodes and one feature film of Cowboy Bebop, the fact that as recently as Wednesday I was seriously considering investing in a manga collection that would even rival Owen’s (and decided against it only because I didn’t have the money for it just now)—all of it added up to the worst thing of all: I’m as bad as they are. And possibly worse, since I try to hide it instead of embracing the enjoyment and, um, dressing up like the characters.

And as I realized that, I started laughing even harder.

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