tldr: hazel, mae, marcie, and everybody else involved did spectacular jobs on their videos, the normal creepypasta retrospective and the gmod stream. they did so good that it made me a little emotional as someone who literally wouldn't be here had it not been for creepypasta getting me into a relationship that was long-distance for a really long time before now, when we're finally living together. hats off to y'all.

when i started middle school, i would need to go to school very early due to living outside the district and thus being unable to take the bus. therefore, my mom would drop us off on her way to work, which meant that i spent a lot of time before school hanging out in the atrium. i would use that time to draw. the year prior, i had been gifted a laptop of my very own. my parents thought that it would be more cost effective for me to not use the family desktop for my online homework since i would be transferring to a school system that would use that sort of thing more often.

it was a rough period in my life. i was going from being horrendously bullied in 4th grade, to being shoved head-first into a whole new world known as public elementary school in 5th grade, to having another heaping helping of reality slammed in my face with the wonders of public middle school in 6th grade. if i had to pick a word to describe those three years, i'd probably pick "whiplash". my world was turned on its head three seperate times between the ages of 9 and 12. to some it may not seem like a lot, but i don't like to go comparing turmoil with others.

however, in 5th grade, i turned to cope with this new world with an even newer world, one that i couldn't even begin to expect but one that helped me cope more than i could ever have expected despite simultaneously traumatizing me even more: the internet.

my first two main squeezes were sonic the hedgehog and creepypastas, therefore i did lots of drawings of sonic.exe in my big binder full of three-hole-punched printer paper that i had instead of a sketchbook. and when would i do this most often? yep, in the atrium in 6th grade, waiting for school to start at 7:45AM each day. (that's the time that classes would start, by the by. i would have to get up at 5:45AM to make sure my mom wasn't late for work to drop us off on her way. so yeah that was fun /sar) it was during that time that i met this other kid in my grade, one of the few other kids who would be in that atrium with me at that ungodly hour of the morning. he had a sonic the hedgehog backpack, and i thought that was cool as fuck.

i was never taught to be shy. i have been going up to randos in, say, the supermarket and complimenting them on various things about their personage ever since i could speak full sentences. only a few times has this really stood out as a thing that truly benefited me, like the time a lady in line at petco was made so happy by my compliment that she bought coca-cola for me and my mom, and that happened long after this anyway.

so there really was no way of foreseeing how my life would be changed forever by going up to this kid with the sonic the hedgehog backpack and saying, and i quote, "hey, i like your backpack, do you wanna see my drawings?"

because ten years later, i'm married to that person.

i was talking to them recently about how wild it was, and they actually told me that at first, they thought i was really annoying. then again, there are a lot of things from back then that aren't at all true anymore. i used to be taller than him. not by a lot, just a little bit. now he has a whole foot and some change on me. their hair used to be short and a light, orangeish brunette. now it's a deep brown that they tie back in a ponytail and hide under a beanie.

he used to be an incel. i used to be a girl. things change. times change. people change.

media changes.

i can probably hear the "oof" through the screen as you read that, especially since the specific creepypasta i named was "sonic.exe". if you didn't say it then, then you probably said it when it was first namedropped. if you know you know, and if you don't... i almost wanna say "good". the sad fact of the matter is that there's a lot of creepypasta you can say that about now actually. laughing jack. sally williams. jane the killer. slenderman to some extent (won't bother linking that one, everybody knows that one).

the recent renaissance was a blessing that initially bore a disguise. i didn't quite know how to feel about it knowing now what i didn't know then. i hesitate to say that i should have known it then, but something something childlike wonder being tarnished and holding off on learning the true horrors of this world that hide behind the fantastical monsters they put to paper, or in this case to screen.

as i write this, i keep stopping and wondering why i'm putting in so much effort for this. this giant fan project for a video essay and a staged gmod stream. the drawing. the editing. the vocaloid tuning. the singing. the mixing. the coding. the writing. i sit here at 11:20pm in a dark, drafty room and i look over at my partner who falls asleep much earlier than me, and i know exactly why.

because as corny as it may seem, without creepypasta, i probably wouldn't be here. no, actually, i definitely wouldn't be here.

and the totally normal creepypasta retrospective by hazel and mae as well as the gmod stream by marcie and all them threw me back into that mindset of listening to readings or watching video recreations to scare myself awake so that i could think about my lover comforting me for just a little bit longer before the soft embrace of sleep finally came for me, just as good ol' jeffrey woods always told me to do.

to speak directly on the content of the gmod stream, me and my partner were long distance for a really long time. after 6th grade, they had to move to ohio. we emailed back and forth for a while about this and that, but eventually communication pootered out as we got busy with our own lives. flash forward to sophomore year of high school, and my mom gets an email. it's from him. he remembered my mom's email and wanted to get back in touch with me. we linked up on discord for easier communication and that was where our relationship was housed for the next two years, even outliving our junior year when he was shipped off to switzerland for the whole year on a student exchange program. there was a brief stumble when he thought he was going to have to permanently move to vermont, a span of distance he was not willing to keep a relationship going between due to that being just way too far away for any sort of regular visitation. 2 hours by car between indiana and ohio is a hell of a lot more manageable than 4 hours by plane between indiana and vermont, not counting all the extranneous time that has to be spent at the airport if you even dare to think about wanting to board a plane.

fortunately, that plan was short-lived and ultimately didn't end up coming to fruition. their mom moved to vermont without them, they found a place to stay in ohio on their own with the help of their dad, we were in the clear to get back together, and it all worked out in the end. i just wish the moving out process could have been a little smoother, but that's not his fault. that's literally the fault of my dad for kicking my ass out while i was on a call with them. the gap was closed. the redman finally allowed us to be together, through all the trials and tribulations it came with.

it seems like a lot just for a couple videos, but they meant a lot to me. they meant enough to me to put forth all this effort, and i'm literally just some guy. i hope this doesn't come across as me trying to copy y'all or anything, this is genuinely the best way i could figure out some sort of tribute project.

and what's a better way to pay tribute to a creepypasta adjacent thing than an overproduced pv of a preexisting vocaloid song?

...probably an actual original song, but the stupendium i am not. this'll do instead.

both of the images are links btw!