Author Archives: marix_raglan


I grab breakfast with Billy. We pull in at 8:30 sharp, but I spend a few minutes fumbling for my breakfist pills. He’s got an Avengers lanyard for his TCU badge. For a catastrophic moment, I think he’s been at the con.
These last few years he’s been attention deficit. I feed him the lie about the audio fest at the entrance, then sort of unspool the truth after we’ve gotten our food and the conversation circles back to me.
He doesn’t seem all that concerned. Billy likes those vicarious real-life streaming experiences where creators film themselves having fun and you watch them. I’m grateful that its not my thing.
We eat good chicken biscuits and some underwhelming tater tots. He’s in good spirits. he’s got a test coming up he’s preparing for and feels like he’s finally getting to find his role in the social
circles of the doctors and students. Its not my cup of tea, but i’m happy he’s happy. Can’t help but be a bit worried though, especially on reflection. He’s been in school a long time.
We drop into a soda and candy store next door. I’m chipper, it doesn’t seem like the christian girlfriend has made him any bit judgemental. I buy a few sodas, he buys a tin sign to put on his walls.
He collects them now I guess. We have a nice chatter with the cashier, say our goodbyes and make plans for meeting up again. I crack open a Bob Ross ‘Joy of Calm’ Sparkling Passionfruit Energy Drink and start driving.
While I drive, I flip over the cardigan covering up the fursuit box. you can see the head poking out. By the time I pull up to the first gas station though I’ve pulled the cardigan back over top the cardboard.


The plan evolves, as it does. I’ve spent most of the morning walking around the dealers den. I meet artists I’ve been following for 10 years, artists I haven’t heard of, crafters of all shapes and sizes. Mostly out of suit. I make one purchase entirely mute, just pointing to what I want. Other booths I Iinger at to read or ask questions.

After lunch, I have two new deadlines. I must get back before the hockey game ends, at 10:30. I am told I can decide if I want to stay late Sunday or come home Sunday morning. I have space, fuel, and time. I wear comfortable clothes, suit up, and have no expectations.

I flit about and have fun. I bounce from line to floor to room and just exist in my suit in a way that feels good. I embody my character, scurrying about and moving to whatever music happens to be in earshot. I dance through crowds and greet strangers and I feel a powerful thrill. My anxieties become my character’s anxieties, exaggerated and expressed and seen and laughed with and evaporated.

By the time 9:30 rolls around I’m done. I pack it in and pray and I am in the parking lot. I feel unbelievable. I start working on a text to say I want to stay late. At 9:45 I am asked to come home Sunday morning. I feel a lot of things.

At 9:50 I drive back, and lie, and sleep.


Its raining. My badge isn’t with me. I need my badge if I’m to attend any of the upcoming programming, and somehow I didn’t manage to snag it from my car.
My car is in a parking lot behind the hotel. It’s not raining too hard. I walk out the front, turn left (past the smokers) and to the crosswalk.
It’s late on the second day. Turn left at the corner, nobody on the street. rain isn’t all that bad. At the end of the block, Cross the street straight. Rain is puddling in a few places.
The light is long. I walk past a pedestrian, head down, and make it to my car. My suit’s in the car. Do I want to suit? I weigh the options.
I’m not going to do anything sexual tonight. I check my phone. Grindr message. I evaluate, it’s not going to get past scheduling. Not for lack of trying!
But whatever, I’m going to get the head out, and the paws, and the tail, and then i figure it’s easier to fit the paws and tail in the suitcase
so I take out some junk and then I head back the way I came, head slung under the arm. My hat. its on my head. At the intersection I turn back to the car. Drop my hat off. can’t wear it while suiting.
Can’t wear my glasses either. And i’m out of contacts. I decide to put the glasses up in the suitcase. Take a paperclip, in case the suitcase jams.
I walk back, head towards the bathrooms. I compliment a stranger on their avian hoodie. it’s mottled brown and has fabric sewn in the shape of feathers. he gives me the supplier. I head into the bathroom.
Tail on, glasses off, head on. neck gaiter on.
… no badge.
Fuck. it’s raining.


I’m awake in bed until about 1 in the morning. I feel like I’m coming down from a drug trip honestly, I feel sad and scared and disappointed without any focus or reason. I give myself space and hold as still as I can, under the weighted blanket I brought from Austin. The withdrawal mellows and I fall asleep.

I’m up on schedule. Early enough to casually take breakfast with the in-laws. I drink coffee and chatter about the audio festival I didn’t go to. Spinning fake interactions and a healthy dose of facts about the community I already know. My motivation for getting up early is truthfully, the Austin meetup at 9:30. Though the selective facts cement it as another lie.

i arrive on time, and jump into conversations. I make small talk that goes nowhere with someone I’ve already forgotten. I flag down a nerd and get them to talk at me about their suit electronics. Nothing interesting continues to happen, until the announcement comes that the meetup organizers are planning a local Austin con!

Im thrilled, and rush to the front. I pepper the speakers with questions once they’re off the stage. They are far from being ready, and are perhaps years out. They haven’t yet elected a board of directors or staff. They will take whatever help they can get. So I take a card and decide to reach out later next week. To commit would be to give up and challenge a lot of the life I’ve built.

I would make a decent IT director though. Says the brain-storm.


I am humming with an energy I don’t get to feel often. I am wearing my formal skirt, button-down collared shirt, black thigh-high socks, black athletic sneakers, my formal cardigan, a lace cameo choker, and a broad black hat. I look like a modern take on a style of flemish dress that lost popularity in the 1400s. Like Arnolfini in Van-Eyck’s portrait. A luxury that looks out of place but, ultimately not distinct in a crowd of sexually repressed nerds.

The energy I am humming with is dominant. After having seen an extremely educational BDSM panel prior, given by a full time dominatrix, I feel empowered. But exhausted, so I settle for standing straight, away from the crowd. I’ve set up space in the front right corner of the room, near the puppy play area. A collection of toys has been lovingly placed in the center of several gymnastics mats laid out. Two strangers in pup masks are batting a small squishy basketball back and forth, using paws that cover their hands.

The ball rolls past, and close to me. I glide forward, chin held high, and swoop to pick up the ball.

I raise it slowly, the pups kneel at attention. I loft the ball to the further one and they catch it. They resume playing.

We play this game a few times, us three strangers. The music begins to pulse louder, and the crowd in front of the stage steadily grows.

I feel good, but I know something isn’t quite right. I feel above everyone. As if my ego has lofted me over top the crowd. Condescension rolls through me, directed at nobody. Superiority for resting and staying to the side. It smacks of desperation, feels nonsensical, but necessary; though I can’t say why.

The corgi rolls in. The beautiful stranger I spoke with in the line. He(?)s holding a Shiner in one hand, a corgi head under the other arm. His two friends aren’t there. It’s time to socialize.


There are no more days before rodeo. The line was long but I did everything right. I made my very first friend walking up and down the line.

I size them up in passing. I walk ahead, then walk back. I don’t overthink. I feint, low outside, with an innocent interjection. I’m met. I lunge with curiosity and step to the inside. And I meet them.

A dog that took care of an injured opossum. A veteran with PTSD wearing ceramic plated bulletproof vest. A trans autist from Arkansas with two friends in tow. This person is my friend in about thirty seconds. We have exchanged contact information after a minute. Back stories take three minutes and the conversation opens up until the line moves.

I don’t know their face, I don’t know their name, their pronouns or even their gender. The line moves us to the door and kicks us through into a dark room. We are separated. Carried in different directions by the current of people and our goldfish attention spans. I don’t care, because in fact someone here has seen me. And I’ve seen them. And have each other’s contact info. The miracle!


As the energy drink of the morning wears off, I feel a wave of exhaustion creeping up. I tote my gear to the car, and simply sit for the first few minutes, winded from the walk and the weight of the briefcase, laptop still stowed. I tuck it into my suitcase, then begin the indelicate dance of changing in my car. I’m in a parking lot but have the privacy of two unattended vehicles to my right and left. I eat the last snack I brought, and hook my suit jacket to a hook above the left window, to shade from the sun. I pray, wiggle around, and find a reasonably comfortable angle in the tilted back car seat. The engine idles and runs the air conditioner. I turn the radio to a suspiciously 1950s sounding orchestral classical. It fades into a religious talk show. Two old white men are discussing rules for Christian children to live by. Or rather- one temporizes the Bible to justify authoritarian parenting while another listens passively. The section on rules for parents takes about half the time. I feel the dull sensation where self righteousness should be. I can fit all the pieces together why I should feel angry. But I just feel tired. There is nothing to do but grieve. So I sleep. When I awake, the sun is setting.

I take the next half hour to rebuild my outfit. I move slowly, assembling something that feels good to wear but manageable. I wish I could shower. But I’m staying put. I don’t know if I’ll be coming back here tonight, so I pack nighttime essentials, plus some adult toys and underwear. The Grindr chats ground to a halt, but I can’t help but hope something perfect happens.

And of course, something perfect will in fact happen tonight. Only it won’t have been what I planned.

But first, Responsibilities. I head indoors to eat dinner, the twilight and evening wind warming and chilling my best outfit.


When I arrive, I’m in good health. Caffeinated, awake for 5 hours. I park and wander towards registration. Then back towards pre-registration. 30 lines back and forth. I queue up. Squeaking is everywhere. Someone’s handed out squeakers. I just have my briefcase with my laptop. I pop in headphones. I check chats, someone isnt that far ahead of me and has taken a picture of the crowd in front of them. I idily try to guess who. I’m listening to the rest of a podcast episode on Anselm and Ontology that I started on the drive up. Mostly cause I liked the word’s sound, and wondered if I could use it in a sentence when I met Masie’s parents.
Im nervous. Overstimulated. I keep dropping my briefcase, and making a loud thud. I settle for clutching it in my arms, like a big rectangular baby. I’m so glad I didn’t dress in anything yet. Folks who suited up beforehand are getting hot. I wish I had a mask. The queue moves on, loud and chattery.
Eventually my line is sheparded, single file, into a different room down the hall. My anxiety reaches a soft crescendo, like an orgasm specifically for feeling bad. It’s swarming with volunteers checking people in. I’m checked in by a slight, steady nerd who butchers my fursona’s name. I get a badge and hustle out. I rush to an elevator that takes me to the wrong part of the hotel. I bustle around and a volunteer points me in the right direction. I arrive at the introductory panel at 10:07, find a seat near the front, pull out my laptop, and begin to take perhaps the most… Useless notes I’ve ever taken. The speaker is just some spectral 50 year old white dude who’s been to a bunch of cons. I walk out at 10:45 after asking and getting answers to some questions that didn’t really need to be asked. WiFi is for guests, hotel rooms are the best place to change. Shame I didn’t get one. I go to my car to suit up.