I Am A Dragon Master

Target is a great place to wander. With Mossimo brand clothing that's almost as impeccable in taste as Fossil brand clothing, home interiors that are close to those of Pier 1 and there's even a toy section.

The adverstisements are superior in this Age of Marketing, both print and motion. If I were a bored college student these days, I wouldn't wander Wal-Mart and play there. No, sir. Wal-Mart is filthy, no matter how new the structure is. Target is clean. I would go to Target. Target, good. Wal-Mart, evil.

Steph and I always get "lost" in Target, just touching every possible thing we can, dreaming of where it could go in our house. Since the Christmas season started right after Halloween this year, we've been dazzled by the Christmas decorations, the ornaments, the garland...any of it that you wouldn't find on a traditional Christmas tree -- those are the types we love. Mod, if you will.

And as we wondered the toy section, I came across a set of figures, games and books that had everything to do with dragons. I stopped and glanced through the book, picked up the game and said aloud, "oh, figurines!"

They were probably plastic, but looked like they had been painted with a toothpick, so those types of figurines often were -- if you were into that kind of thing, and I was, as a kid and I couldn never get enough of it. I played Magic the Gathering with my friends in the neighborhood where I grew up. Painting anything like that was an artform. I had never done it, but I watched my brother a couple of times when he was into it for about five minutes. He took a toothpick and applied the bright green paint (the color of my home office, now) to the Orc's skin. How a could a toothpick be used as a paintbrush? Oh, I was amazed. All these old visions danced through my head like sugar plums (what ARE those?) and Steph noticed the glow shooting from my eyes, the pure joy that shone from my skin.

"That's a dork game," she said. I looked at her sheepishly and set down the game Dragonology.

"No it's not."

"You said, 'ooh, figurines.' Only dorks like games like Dragon Master games like that."

"It was called Dragonology."

"You're a Dragon Master!"

Or something like that. Although it feels like Christmas right now with the sexy jazz playing in the background and the snow falling down -- it's April and that moment was more than four months ago. If I showed any interest in a dork game, such as that, I was considered a Dragon Master -- always was, and always will be. Any of those games I enjoyed when I was a kid was because I was a Dragon Master. I'm not sure if you could consider me a leader of the Dragon Masters -- I'm sure there's a master of the Dragon Masters out in New York. Some always-pimpled thirty-something with greasy glasses, a gut, bad fingernails and figurines (oh, figurines!) around his apartment. I am NOT that person, but Steph must've seen an image of a tall, lanky-except-for-the-small-gut-pooched man walking in the shadows of an unclean room at his parent's house with Dragonology all around him.

And in a way, he is inside me, whenever I stop by a game or game store and admire the fantasy genre, remembering that, yes, once, I was into that sort of thing (oh, figurines!) and always will be, even if I don't play it anymore.