The man stands in front of his open locker after an hour’s worth of pushing metal contrivances in various directions. He is on his way to the shower, and assorted ‘ceps and ‘oids glisten as he strips out of his clever-slogan t-shirt. From the shelf of his locker, his phone rings. It is a sensible bell-tone, not one of those annoying tune-rings that will get stuck in your head.
He considers his phone, and for just a moment he is the very picture of responsibility. He would rather have the shower right now, but this call must be taken. Wearing nothing but shorts and a layer of sweat he answers the phone. Naturally, the observer can only hear his end of the conversation:
“So how far out are you?”
“No, that’s fine. I’ll see you in forty minutes, and I’ll pass the word along.”
He pushes the “end call” button, and scowls ever so slightly as he looks at the phone’s clock. Apparently the word must be passed along now, before the hot shower these rippling, aching muscles demand. He holds down a single key, speed-dialing.
“Yeah, Bob just called. He’s going to be late for the game. Could you holler across the store at my D&D group and tell them the Dungeon Master is about forty minutes out?”
“Yeah, I’m on my way, but I forgot dice. It’s okay, though… I think we’re leveling characters tonight anyway.”
And as he hangs up, he transforms, the words “Dungeon Master” stripping away layers of illusion. He may have looked responsible and ripplingly athletic for a moment, but he clearly fritters his evenings away as an imaginary hero. Those rippling bits no longer appear to be ‘ceps, ‘oids, or even remotely muscular. He is short, he is on the dumpy side of stocky, and he’s kind of clumsy getting that towel around his bulging middle. At least he’s showering. Everyone has heard horrible things about “game funk.”
That was me, yesterday at 4:58pm, in a locker room that wasn’t half as empty as providence might have made it… though it seemed to empty pretty quickly after I finished calling Mike.