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Bleeding Love

Note: This post is compiled from several posts in the Fediverse. To make it easier to find, I also published it here afterwards. I set the date of the post to the date of the first post of the thread.

I've been to an international Vampire: The Masquerade LARP event the last few days, and I'd been assigned the role of a 3000 year old vampire who only longed to be reunited with his love whom he was forced to betray shortly after meeting her, still a mortal man back then. For 3000 years they avoided a direct encounter, instead putting pawns against each other, causing catastrophic events in their wake.

On the last night of the event, the great reconciliation between the two was scheduled and I put a lot of effort into evoking the emotional landscape of not having met her for three millennia. It was an emotional rollercoaster of pain, guilt and regret, of forgiveness, bliss, happiness – and love. And finally of loss, once again. I jokingly called it the happiest an hour and a half of his undead existence, and my counterpart made it easy for me to act these moments.

I not only heard of "The Bleed" before, I experienced it before, too. Feelings "bleeding" from the game's roles into their actors. But until now it's been mostly negative feelings – anger, aggression, contempt, fear, but also some positively connoted emotions as joy, arousal and the like. These were easy to deal with, to put aside. I knew they would wear off. And it's easy because they dissonate with the real life connections to the fellow actors.

But as I wrote before, I put special effort into evoking the emotions for this role as love was the event's central theme and deemed it worth this effort. And everybody who knows love knows it's a feeling worth every effort. And so I evoked love stalled for 3000 years.

I only met my counterpart for this event during this event. While her being a wonderful person had been helpful for the acting, it doesn't really help getting over the Bleed, and, even worse, the real life connection is practically non-existent.

Now, there's an emotional gap, an emptiness following the bliss of experiencing love as old as history (and nobody can prove me wrong on this one, don't even try). Sure, it will pass, too, but at the moment it weighs heavy on my heart. I'm not even certain what direction to take with this feeling. In contrast to real life love which besides thwarted by death always contains a glimmer of hope this love is completely fictional and thus without any hope. The persons involved don't even exist.

There are options, though. The emotion is real nonetheless and I could direct it at my wonderful wife. But this love was a young man's love, a foolish love, love burning hot, just stalled without hope of maturing beyond this stage. It appears unseemly to put her up with that. Love does not need symmetry but asymmetric love needs consent.

I could break down this feeling and somehow use it to fuel my real life feelings.

Or I could overanalyze this feeling. Maybe I'm not really good at "feeling".


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