It was a late night at San Diego Comic-con. The convention was quietly sleeping, resting until the hordes of geeks stomped through its hallowed halls bright and early the next morning. Drunk con goers staggered through the streets like zombies, kicking through discarded promotion postcards and abandoned swag. The haunting melody of the pedicab's German techno thumped gently through the slowly emptying streets, an eerie back drop for the drunken debacles of the night.
Against a wall, a girl in a latex body suit was entangled with a man with long hair. I slipped by them, high heels in one hand, trying not to dig the exhaustion out of my eyes lest I muss up my carefully painted on eye makeup. I could feel the tired seeping deep into my muscles - it was only a couple of nights into San Diego Comic-con, but I was already prepared to sleep for an entire night. My alcohol buzz was coming down, merely leaving me cranky and craving a taco. My painful feet curled with every barefoot step across the tiles of San Diego's sidewalks - the sacrifices you make to make your ass look good. I glanced down at the high heels in my hand in a mixture of irritation and fondness.
Finally, I drew to a halt in front of my hotel, weaving around a huge slew of intoxicated club goers. A large bouncer looked me up and down as he tried to discern my status - guest or not? With a sigh and a bravado I was emulating and not actually possessing, I fished deep into my purse and pulled out my room card. See? I'm staying here. The wall of a man nodded to me and I slipped by, padding across the lobby. There was some actress I had seen one time in the corner, but I didn't really care. I just wanted to slip into an oversized t-shirt and curl deeply into my cot until I had to cosplay the next morning.
Reaching the elevator, I pounded on the "up" arrow a couple of times before impatiently grabbing my cell phone out of my purse.
1 new text message from Brea
I replied with a calm I did not know I possessed. Without skipping a beat, I turned tail from the elevator and sprinted as calmly as possible towards the exit of my hotel. I paused for a single moment to lean against a wall and shove my feet back into my excruciating platforms, and then I was off again. Luckily, this is one of the times that my ridiculous stature and million mile long legs helped me, as I made my way to the Omni with time to spare. Lounging nonchalantly against the lobby wall, I looked every ounce of cool - although inside was a festering, bubbling sea of nervous lava.
And then, suddenly: The Doctor. The Centurion. And my wonderful friend Brea. They were trailed by a slew of other people, but I had a hard time focusing. Images of being swept away to fantastic galaxies and amazing adventures ran around my head, but I choked down the adrenaline and swiped my hand over my hair before reaching it out to the Time Lord of my dreams.
"Hello, I'm Molly."
He was ridiculously nice. Ridiculously. Arthur Darvill (Rory) complimented my necklace. I shared a knowing glance with Brea, thanking her wordlessly for thinking of me in this moment, and then I began wandering the streets of San Diego at 2am with the Doctor and the Centurion in tow.
A few things: It is impossible for Matt Smith to walk 2 feet without being swamped by fangirls, even so late at night. However, he is absolutely polite and wonderful to everyone. He halted many, many times to pose for pictures with quivering fans.
Secondly: We all really needed alcohol, but it was past last call. After a bit of wandering and feeling like I was herding cats, I took control of the situation: "I have a mini bar in my hotel room, but I'm not sure if my roommate will be into it. It's late and he might be sleeping."
My dear friend Leo was kind enough to let me crash on a cot in his room at the Hard Rock. Now, Leo is a HUGE Whovian - he puts me to shame. So I grabbed Matt Smith's hand and told him to come with me, and together we frolicked to the elevators and up to my room. I let him in, and then knocked on the door to Leo's bedroom.
"Leo, I'm here with Matt Smith."
"No, you're not." He responded sleepily from within.
"Allo Mate!" Chirped Matt from behind me.
Leo opened the door in disbelief. His face told me everything I needed to know, and suddenly I was having a room party with Matt Smith, Arthur Darvill, and a whole slew of other incredible people. We cleaned out the mini bar, discussed music, and I danced to the Kinks with Arthur.
I cannot even begin to describe how surreal the entire experience was. I was battling fangirlness at every turn. After all of my encounters with people of note, this is the first time I had to consciously hold back and act normal. It was just so incredible to see these human beings who had portrayed characters that I love on such a deep level. And here they were, in my hotel room, sitting on my bed, dancing and laughing and having intense discussions with me.
Finally at 4am they cleared out of my hotel room and I rolled into bed, wondering if the entire thing had been some sort of crazy drug trip. (Someone slipped me something at the party I had been to earlier in the evening, perhaps?)
But the photos, the memories, and the searing heat on my cheek where both Matt and Arthur had kissed me goodbye let me know this was no dream.
Moments and experiences like that are one of the main reasons I go to San Diego Comic-con. But it is also one of the main reasons that every day I wake up and look in the mirror, wondering how I went from the awkward, picked on geek girl who people wouldn't even glance twice at to some sort of geeky pundit who gets to pretend to be the companion to the Doctor for a few hours on one incredible evening.
There are so many other things I want to share with you guys. Like how Matt ran and hugged me and told me I was his new best friend. About discussing music and the Beastie Boys with Arthur. About how incredibly excited my friends were for days afterwards because they got to hang out with the Doctor. About how lucky I am to know incredible people like Brea who will think of their fangirl friends when confronted with a situation like this (seriously Brea, I count you as one of the most epic people I know - and not just because you bring me the Doctor. I can't wait until I move to LA and we can cause mischief on a much more frequent basis!) But I can't really find the words for it, and a part of me just wants to keep those special memories to myself. They are warm and safe inside of my own head.
I'm getting a little emotional writing this, but I guess I just have to thank everyone who has ever supported my writing and my journey to self discovery and confidence. I never take any of these amazing experiences for granted, and even when and if I am someone of some sort of caliber I am still going to be internally fangirling. Inside, I'll ALWAYS be that awkward geeky girl who wore elf ears to high school.