f@nu fiku: online hard science fantasy manga

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A hiss in the dark.

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Late to the Party

I'm late almost everywhere. Late to bed, late to rise, late to school, late to work, late late late.

Once in high school I turned in a form late (actually, I'd turned the form in on time, but my mother forgot to sign it and I refused to forge her signature - but let's not confuse the story with facts) and was put in the last group for registration - and for the next several years was called "The Big Red L" for the mark they put on my registration package.

So when my karate group decided to meet at Stone Mountain last weekend for a 3:00 workout, I was prepared. I left a full hour and fifteen minutes early, determined (for once) to get there on time.

Then everything went wrong. First I hit traffic. Then I took a wrong turn (a REALLY wrong turn). Finally, after an hour and fifteen minutes in my car, I arrived at the park ... only to find a chili cook-off had eaten up all the available parking. I almost turned around and went home two or three times ... but, after another fruitless 30 minutes riding around, I finally found a space halfway back to Atlanta, shouldered my bag, and trudged 15 minutest back to the big green field beneath the carvings on the face...

...and found they had *just* started.

So all that self-doubt ran smack into a big wall of reality. Of *course*, everyone *else* had trouble parking too. So right around the time *I* was ready to give up because I was too late, *they* were still finding the field and getting set up. And while I was beating myself up for being such a poor student for showing up so late, two *other* students --- both far more hard-core than I --- were suffering their own tales of traffic woe, and didn't arrive until a full hour after I did.

So all my voices of self-doubt were meaningless; in fact, the only tragedy would not to have showed up at all. Instead, I had a long, fun workout at the base of the mountain and got to spend the next two hours eating dipping dots and watching a laser show with a bunch of good friends --- none of whom gave me any grief about what time I showed up.

The point, as it relates to Fanu Fiku, is this: it is never to late to chase your dreams. Someone may be there before you; others may arrive after you. It doesn't matter how late you have been: the only tragedy is to not to show up at all.

October 10, 2004