On the train to Nagoya

I am currently on a train to Nagoya. Not the fast one. I could have been to Nagoya by now. But whenever I take these trips to play Magic for a weekend, I like taking the slow route Thursday after work. I sit on trains for a bit longer, but I get to play games, listen to podcasts and exiast in a different way than I do most days.

There’s something about being in a public place yet still being private that is oddly... Relaxing? Freeing? Focusing? I translate faster on a train, that’s for sure. Less distractions. Well, more distractions, actually, but I have to conciously tune them out which means I focus more. I don’t know. There’s probably some science behind it all.

I am a bit sad that I don’t have a team for this Grand Prix. I’m not playing in the main event, instead I signed up for the “Constructed Fanatic” package, which if I play my cards right, will save me nearly ¥7000 and let me play a lot of Magic. Which is the point of the weekend.

But I’m sad that I don’t have a team because it makes me think. Am I not friendly enough with the people I spend lots of hours playing Magic with? Am I too bad of a Magic player for them to want me on their team? Am I a shitty person?

That’s Depression talking. I hate that fucker. Shut the fuck up, would you?

Who knows. I didn’t ask anyone. Well, I did ask a group chat but it either wasn’t seen, was ignored, or was a bad time. Or some other reason. Point is, I didn’t get a team. But that isn’t going to stop me from going out and trying to have fun.

I worry something like Magic might not be the best for someone like me. There’s a reason I’ve never smoked nor gambled. They have these raffle like things at the store booths at Grand Prixs in Japan and I’m ashamed to say I’ve “gambled” on them. I always say I won’t next time, but then I do again. Although I manage to cut back a bit. I guess? But there’s a thrill there. At least I’m not spending money I don’t have. I’m not putting myself into (further) debt. Is that a piss-poor excuse?

I get frustrated, but I do have fun. Otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this. I am sitting on this train to Nagoya, a literal train on a literal path to Nagoya Station, and I wonder if I’m off my rocker for traveling for a weekend, spending a bit on a cheap AirBNB, just to play a card game. I could do it at home on my computer.

But there’s something about getting out. Something about doing it in person. Even if I’m too shy to talk with many people, too concerned about sounding like a fool when I speak Japanese or English, that I become a bit of a recluse even in public. But I’m trying to work on it. I guess? It’s hard. Magic’s hard. Life’s hard.

But we all keep on going, right?

What do I get at the end of my life for having spent these weekends going to play Magic? Stories, I suppose. Those of bad luck, scrubbing out, but also those of good luck and triumphs. Small and “pointless” as they may be. And I get to look back and smile.

I don’t like traveling. But here I am on a train to Nagoya. The AirBNB guy messaged me to say there’s a festival going on this weekend. He hopes I get the chance to check it out. I hope it doesn’t interfere with me getting to the tournament site on time.

Maybe I just want someone with me. I kind of feel stupid for wanting a significant other who shares a hobby with me. I’m not going to “hit on” anyone I play the game with or at a place where I frequent. That feels gross. Although I don’t tend to “hit on” people in general. My last few relationships just grew out of circumstance, so perhaps I’m just waiting for circumstance to happen again.

My youngest brother just got engaged. The story, as my father told me, was that on their first date my brother asked his now fiance what one thing people would find surpsing to find out she has interest in and one hobby she has as a guilty pleasure. Or something like that. She answered, and the ordering of these answers is both unimportant and a bit lost to repeated tellings of the storty, WWE and Magic. My brother and his fiance seem to get along quite fine.

That’s not to say I’d be in a perfect relationship if I found someone who liked Magic. Maybe it’s someone who likes RPGs with overly complicated battle systems, books that are too long for their own good or someone who just has a deep and intense passion for something beyond their day to day job. Just an intense passion to do something. Wanting to do it all the time. Someone with a love for a part of life that doesn’t matter but doesn’t care that it doesn’t matter.

Maybe I need to love myself first. That’s hard. Like life and Magic.

Train’s about to stop in Nagoya. This is my first time in the city. I’m going to go play some Magic. You all have a nice weekend.