Back in November 2012, I walked out of my previous cubicle thinking I thought I would never set foot in one again. But as Facebook’s pivot-to-video fraud
drained almost every job and dollar from the digital-media economy, I realized the sheen of being able to call myself a “full-time writer” wasn’t worth working every waking second for half as much money as my family needed.
As an Xennial raised on 80s childrens’ media, I rarely hesitate to be true to myself.
But when I went back to the rat race, I didn’t add any personal touches to my work area. My old cube was piled high with pictures of my kids, NFL swag, and a Final Fantasy IX wall scroll
, but for some reason I didn’t want any pieces of flair
in my new one.
I think withholding that bit of myself let me pretend this was all a temporary arrangement—I hadn’t failed at professional writing, I’d merely taken on a different kind of freelance client! It was just another gig! Sure, it happened to require that I drive in to an office building and work there from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, but…
This continued until two Christmases ago, when my wife and I filled up our kids’ stockings with anime merch from one of those mall stores. You know, one of those mall stores
. We’d recently completed family watch-throughs of “Dragon Ball Z” and “Dragon Ball Super,” and I decided to get a couple of figurines for myself: Future Mai
and Future Trunks
In the show, the characters hail from a desolate future where The Good Guys Lost. Mai is the leader of Earth’s small resistance, and Trunks is one of the few good guys with superhuman powers left. But Trunks goes back in time to A) help the good guys not-lose, ensuring at least some timeline gets a happy future, and B) bring the good guys forward to help the Resistance. And then, well, it gets complicated.
But the point is, they’re really cute together: