Last day of METUcon Mon April 23

I woke up in the guestroom. I took a look in the master bedroom and there was my longhaired friend and his girlfriend. She opened one eye and said “good morning” and then they slowly

I woke up in the guestroom. I took a look in the master bedroom and there was my longhaired friend and his girlfriend. She opened one eye and said “good morning” and then they slowly crawled out of their hangover and tidied the apartment and then we got back to METUcon.

I took my table, set up my game, drank tea and read another fantasy novel I had got for a gift while waiting for people to show up and play. One guy with long hair came with a friend and played it with me. Later he came again, but now he had shaved his hair. He had forgot the rules, but he learned the game again and we played for a while. “I think me and my twin will take this game” he said and pulled out 55 lira and bought the third printed copy of “SEIGO – Conquer the Japanese language”. One of the twins were called Umut, “Hope” and the other Utku, “Despair”.

Just kidding, Utku means “Victory”.

People were packing up and the convention was going towards its end. One girl came up to me and said “you can come to my house tonight if you want”. Sure, but why? Is there a party? Murat came by and we went to a campus restaurant and ate. The food was paid per gram so I filled the plate with chicken filet and baklava. I called my invention “Chicken Baklava”.

Then we went to the club house where a lot of people gathered, not wanting to admit that Turkey’s biggest game convention was over for this time. The members of the METU game club knew how they wanted it to end; they danced around Tuna the Organiser and sang “bira o gel Tuna!, bira o gel Tuna!”. Go and get beer Tuna, go and get beer. The group pressure was too strong. I got in his car and he drove me to Bahadur’s place where I got all my stuff, including my wet clothes that had been lying in Bahadur’s washing machine for a few days. Then we went to a shop and filled the car with beer; don’t know with whose money. Back at the club house a small party took off. I stood in the cold Ankara night and talked with Ilker and Nide. Nide was of Bulgarian decent. Ilker said that he had got much more confident since he became an RPG game master.

It turned out that I was going to sleep in Asli’s house. I shared it with a big group of very tired Cypriots, but not the same Cyprus gang that I had been playing with earlier. I got my own room and hung my damp clothes all over it. Then I went down to join the rest of the crowd. Everyone was tired after 4 days of constant role-playing and partying, so they just watched television, sipped whisky and did occasional attempts at conversation.

At 2 am I went back to my room. In my bed there was the most beautiful cat I’ve ever seen. I went down and hugged it, holding his little head in my hands. We laid like that for a long time looking into each other’s eyes. He was purring and looked straight into me like he knew all about me and was talking to me. This animal was too perfect to be a product of evolution. When cats and humans started living together, the friendlier and cuter cats had bigger chances to survive since they got better access to the humans’ dwellings and all the juicy rats they contained. So there has been some natural selection in favor of friendly, cute and cuddly cats. But I found it impossible that this kind of blunt and random selection would produce something so perfect as this cat. The beauty of his head was bigger than life. I felt there was a god in the cat; a divine experience, the first in my life.

When I later tried to analyze my feelings that night, I realized that it takes two to tango, it wasn’t just that the cat was unbelievably beautiful and calm and with smart eyes. It was also that I had the kind of brain that attaches certain characteristics to certain animals. The perfect cat wasn’t in the cat, it was inside me. And why do I have those feelings? How has that helped my ancestors to survive long enough to breed me? I came to think about the mice in the office of Atol Production. I used to stand and stare into the mice’s eyes, fascinated by how human they looked. They really looked like human eyes with human feelings. Like scared little humans they were, the two mice. I wanted to hug them and talk to them so much that I had to remind myself that they were just mice and would be scared to death if I attempted something like that. I realized now, when thinking back to my mouse meeting in Czechia and comparing with my cat meeting in Turkey, that it wasn’t the mice that were human-like. It was me that was mouse-like!

A million generations ago, my ancestors’ love for mice was essential for their reproduction, since they were mice themselves and needed to like their fellow mice in order to make new mice! And this mouse-loving gene has survived in many people’s DNA since it hasn’t been of any disadvantage, it’s been preserved as a harmless monument of history such as the appendix or the foreskin. In fact, in the case of cats it’s even been beneficial to like them and be able to create a relation with them. They have eaten my ancestors’ rats and thereby left them more of their grain. But what about the affection for mice, it can’t be beneficial for any human to like mice? No, not for the human. But it’s been good for the mouse! By free-riding on your love of selected mammals, it has been able to look at you with it’s brown pepper-eyes saying “please don’t club me to death, put me in a cage in your graphic production company and feed me weetabix”. So, to summarize: my love story with the cat was a funny little leap across hundreds of mutations.

Or maybe I was just missing my girlfriend.

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