Incoming late Kumoricon reflection because I was lazy and forgetful.
Kumoricon 2013 was the very first convention I had ever attended. Prior to attending, I spent the last four years or so of my life in absolute fascination with costumes. I made costumes, wore them to school, on Halloween, to sleep, while I watched cartoons or played games, in public when it felt really comfortable for me. I wasn’t a cosplayer, I never claimed to be a cosplayer, and I denied every accusation of being a cosplayer. Heck, I still deny it purely because I hate labels. I just like to dress up because I feel comfortable doing so. I dress as someone else all the while staying true to myself—for funsies!
Every attempt any of my close friends or cosplaying acquaintances made to get me to attend a convention was shut down. I liked dressing up as an homage to my favorite characters (to make up for a lackluster childhood), not to draw attention to myself or to make friends. I didn’t want to go to a convention. Being a loner had been embedded into my personality. This year, my buddies were finally able to convince me to go. Due to heat wave warnings, I chose a lineup that would keep me from dying of heatstroke: Teemo, OoT Link, and Teemo again (instead of Spock). I felt a bit bad for having readily available costumes while everyone else was undergoing pre-con stress so I forced some stress unto myself by destroying and remaking all my props to empathize. I literally flipped a table which busted my lip open when I got frustrated over my sword.
Ocarina of Time was what made me happy as a child living in isolation. As I grew older, I realized that, like OoT Link, I didn’t have the opportunity to live out my childhood as I would like (even though he was forced into suspended animation for 7 years and I wasn’t, but work with me here yo).
I love Link; Link the Silent Hero that performed acts of true courage without asking for anything in return (with some exceptions for essential items plus the fact that he’s a silent hero). I even transferred my years of experience playing the concert flute into actually teaching myself how to properly play the ocarina. Although I’d never attended a convention before, I knew that K-Con was probably going to be full of Links too… but all the Zeldas would be TWW, TP, or SS since most people don’t like the OoT version all too much. My group was a Legend of Korra group and I was the odd one out all three days, dressing Teemo-Link-Teemo. I felt left out and basically alone even though it was my own damn fault for not dressing LoK, but Police Chief Toph isn’t my cup of tea right now. I lowered my standards to prevent incoming disappointment and brought a cucco plush for comfort.
Anyway, let’s skip to day 2. Day 2 was Link day for me and LoK day for my pals Derpster Nera, Mustache Lady, Magic Mik, Tbhilyhbu, and NeverBever. NeverBever informed everyone that there was going to be an Avatar shoot in the park, and thus our search began. I’m an Avatar lover myself, but I couldn’t shake a certain feeling of sadness that comes with accidental exclusion. I started to feel great regret for not making myself a Toph costume.
But a pleasant surprise appeared. As we were searching in the park for the shoot, I saw something that knocked me back a great deal:
Ocarina of Time Princess Zelda was playing the piano.
The biggest smile spread across my face as I joyously scrambled over, frantically rummaging through my pack for the Ocarina of Time. She was playing the Song of Storms, accompaniment and everything.
I waited for the accompaniment to come around again, brought the Ocarina to my mouth, closed my eyes, and played along with her. I’d never played with so much passion in my life. When it ended, I opened my eyes and saw that she had turned to me in total surprise and smiled a beautiful smile. We drew in a huge crowd that cheered and wanted more.
We stayed together playing song after song, drawing more people in who appreciated the live music. My group stayed for a bit, enjoying the scene before leaving us alone to have our moment. I couldn’t have cared less for the crowd because I was living out my childhood dreams. I was Link. I was playing with the Princess. Heck, I was playing in a duet without royally screwing up. That day, I was the Hero, hanging out with the Princess I adored. The loneliness vanished and joy rushed through me. And to make things even better, there was Legend of Zelda photoshoot afterwards (it turned out that an Avatar one didn’t exist). I met so many other Links but still felt unique. Still felt like me.
(Note: Although things turned out great for me, my LoK friends felt a little robbed that day because they were rejected from the probending tournament and found out that there actually wasn’t an Avatar photoshoot… SO we orchestrated our own shoot with me being the director/photographer. I loved how happy it made them and all the fun we had doing it.)
It was the happiest day of my life.
photo cred to Derpster Nera