The creator of Dungeons & Dragons died yesterday. I couldn't believe it. Surely he was about 35, and always had been and always would be, right? He couldn't have died.
I learned to play D&D way back in the mists of time, so far back that I actually don't remember when I learned. I know I was already familiar with the game when I joined the D&D club at Robertsville Junior High. That's where I first felt comfortable in my teen years, among people who were smart like me and a little reclusive like me and who all read the same books as me. I had a crush on a boy named Chris and was good friends with a girl named Paige, although I don't remember the other members. I learned that there were D&D-like games that weren't D&D, like the post-apocalyptic one Chris liked. I can't remember what it was called, but he invited me into his particular gaming group to play it and let me have one of his old characters, a mutated lion. I carried that folded-up character sheet in my jeans pocket until it literally fell apart.
I still have my dice bag. Every single person I know who's ever played D&D, even if they haven't played for decades, still has some of the dice. I bet Gary Gygax had an awesome dice collection. I hope they bury it with him, like treasure.