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Gazing into the Abyss: Michael Rawdon's Journal


Worldcon I - Still an Introvert

The World Science Fiction Convention was held in Boston this year, and I piggybacked a trip back to visit my family (with Debbi, and to see her family) onto attending the con. It was my third, held in the cavernous Hynes Convention Center. It was easily the least convenient to get to of the three, as I stayed with my Mom and took the T in to the con. It wasn't a big deal, though, since a half-hour commute didn't make much difference in how much time I spent there; it was just a bit inconvenient to make sure I didn't miss the last train after midnight. The biggest problem was lugging any books I wanted to get signed downtown, and having to take my bag around to evening parties.

Parties are a big part of cons - for most people. I, well, am not a party animal. Actually, I'm an introvert, and I don't do well in crowds of people I don't know, particularly when I don't know them at all, and conventions always underscore this for me.

I did have a good time at a few parties, particularly hanging out with my friends Cliff and Lucy (Bay Area fans always make a point of flying thousands of miles to see people who live just a few miles away). I met a few of their acquaintances, but I am just not a gregarious fellow, and basically came away from the con knowing a bit better some folks I already knew (such as Steve) - which is no small thing. But I envy people who can just go up and start talking to people, and who meet people easily.

On the other hand, I may sell myself short, since I do have a lot of friends. Not, these days, many really close friends (which I guess is one of the ramifications of being in a serious relationship). I get to know people in introverty ways - small, structured groups (like my book discussion group, where I met Cliff), or through the Internet. I often feel limited because I'm so focused on my major interests (science fiction, baseball, comic books, progressive rock) that it's difficult to strike up more than a surface conversation with people who don't share at least one of those interests.

I guess this is just a lot of whining to no purpose, but it's the line of thought that occurred to me several times during the con. "I could go wander to some random parties, or... I could get on the train and read for 40 minutes and get home and go to bed."

People may say that you can go up and talk to people and they won't really mind, especially in a party environment. But us introverts don't believe that, not really, deep down. We know most people think we're really weirdos.

We know that.

Even if we're wrong.

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