Awake at four in the morning, I contemplated what I should do. Should I get up and try to get some work done? Maybe I should just play that stupid Candy Crush game for awhile. Or, I could listen to the last chapter of The Graveyard Book, as read by Neil Gaiman. At least that way, I could pretend to be asleep and my active brain would still be pacified.
Then a thought hit me, which I found horrifying. Neil Gaiman has no kids. No kids? “This is not okay,” I thought. “There must be more of him in the world. There must be Gaiman progeny…”
Well, that did it. I was awake now and might as well try to get some work done. I got up and dove into my many various projects, but for most of the day I was haunted by contemplations of Neil and a world empty of Neil offspring. (At least, not that I could locate any information on/about online).
I thought about my road to Gaiman fandom. You see, I’ve really only newly been converted. It should have happened some time ago, but I’m afraid sometimes I’m a bit slow on the uptake.
There was that time my best friend commented about some writer, whose name I didn’t recognize and didn’t remember two seconds after she said it. “I met him once,” she said, “Back when he only wrote graphic novels, at a book signature.” She seemed exhilarated, and I found that odd. I suspect I partially blew it off because, after all, he was a graphic novelist. That sort of thing just didn’t interest me.
She mentioned him often along the weeks and months…probably longer from that point. And, every time, I would say, “Who?” She would answer, as she always did, “You know, that writer that I like? He wrote….” I’d hear, but never remember. “Maybe someday I’ll have to look into that guy,” I’d think, “She does seem awfully impressed.” But I was always way too selfishly focused on my own little life to bother. Looking back, I have to commend my friend. She never once tried to throttle me, and always patiently explained for the umpteenth time.
Then, I started getting double wammied. A guy I’d went to college with started posting about Gaiman on Facebook. I’d see the name and think, “Why does that name look familiar?” Sad, isn’t it? It’s probably hard to imagine at this point how someone who can’t even keep a writer’s name in her head goes from complete ignorance to being distraught at four in the morning at no more Neils to carry on in future generations.
The turning point finally came over Doctor Who. I’m a bit of a fan of the show. Not quite the ‘cosplay and Comic con attendee’ kind, but a fan, nonetheless.
I posted one day on Facebook, something along the lines of, “Can’t decide if I’m looking forward to watching Who this week, or not.” I hadn’t quite appreciated what Moffat had done with the last couple of episodes. The college guy responded with, “It should be good this week, Neil Gaiman wrote it.” At which I responded, “Who?”
My ever patient best friend didn’t hesitate. “You know, that writer I keep telling you about that I like so much,” she posted.
Between the episode, which I loved, and the realization that I needed to stop tormenting the friend who has been my salvation over this guy, I finally shoved all the distractions aside and started checking this writer out. I liked his Facebook page. I read his posts. I researched him. The calendar story I found online was so cool that I went through it twice. I noticed immediately that he had his own, distinct way about him. And, to be cliché it was all downhill after that.
So, there you have it. The trail from being utterly clueless to a being a newby Gaiman fan tormented in the wee hours of the day by the lack of itty bitty Gaimans in the world. I really have no right to the reaction, considering how long I couldn’t even remember his name. Thankfully, I did manage to make a kind of wonderful peace with the issue before the day was out.
Which leads me, finally, to the point of all my ramblings. You see, I realized that Mr. Neil Gaiman has been planting his seeds so proficiently in the world, that little Gaimans are presently growing everywhere.
His children are growing inside of every person who witnessed his most excellent graduation speech, whether in person or by viewing it when it went ‘viral’ online. They are growing inside Who fans, worldwide. Children grow inside people who follow his posts. They grow inside all who attend any event he does. There has been a fully grown embryo inside the college guy and my best friend for so long, that I’m surprised the infants haven’t ripped them open yet in order to find their way to daylight. They may, at times, manifest only in the way a fan perceives the world and interacts within it. But somewhere, sometime, and somehow, all of these seeds will spring forth in the form of interesting and unique creations. A seedling grows in me as we speak, wiggling, and squirming, and writhing. So, you know. It’s all good.
(Disclaimer: I have been unequivocally informed after the writing of this piece by a crazed Gaiman fan that he does indeed have offspring of the regular birthing sort…)