We all have our stories about why how we found THE TRIBE and why we call ourselves fans, I am no different when it comes to this. Because of THE TRIBE I have met some of the most amazing people. When Lance asked me if I wanted to work on this project I was super excited. I had all of these grand plans, even what you are reading now I must have started 20 times already. This was not what I thought my first article would be, but here we are.
Several years ago was the Facebook Fan Gathering, Cloud 9 asked for videos of fans welcoming each other to the party, as one of the original fans I felt like it was my duty to send a short something in. Much like this, I recorded a million takes, and each time I ended up tearing up. I get emotional about THE TRIBE, Ray even caught on to my embarrassment.
I should probably backup. I don’t remember when I first started watching THE TRIBE. That’s probably the biggest lie I have said while calling myself a Tribe fan. Going off the airdates I would have been 9, but those are also the UK dates. I don’t know when they started playing it, I’ve blocked out a lot of life before this show came into my life, I had to, because everyday was a living hell. I was bullied relentlessly by my peers, abused in every way imaginable at home, and I wanted to kill myself. It was not uncommon for me to fake being ill to stay home alone, it was better than going to school and being slammed into lockers, causing me to blackout. I’m sure a lot of these mental blocks have to do with that concussion, but I have no proof.
The fact remains whenever it was, I was looking for an escape and I had a few hours of peace to myself, where I could watch whatever I wanted and relax. There was no need to keep looking over my shoulder wondering when the next attack would be. I flipped on the TV, once again I have no idea how everything happened, I probably just started flipping channels in all honesty. The first thing I do know about that day, was that when I did finally find a channel to watch it was WAM! And here was Caleb Ross, explaining the show. Once again looking back, I can’t even picture that moment, thinking about it I see orange and red. And I know it is Caleb, I can hear his voice and I know he was in a Lex costume, but I can’t tell you which one. I don’t even know if it was a lead in to an episode. I just know that I had to watch more for some reason.
I’ve always wondered if my fascination with Lex was because of that very moment. What if I hadn’t skipped school like I had done so many times before, what if it was someone else sitting there, what if I didn’t choose that channel? I don’t know but it brought me to this place and it’s been pretty good. I’ll spare you all the details about what eventually happens to someone who is chronically depressed, abused and has nowhere to go. But the funny thing about me is I never wanted to die, I just wanted to know I was alive. So much of my day was done in autopilot controlled by others, that I needed to know that I was still human and still mattered. I don’t have long scars on my arms; but I also don’t wear shorts because of the hideous deep scars on my legs. The few scars on my arms are from times I was so anxious I ended up picking at my skin causing myself to bleed. Even now I have to be careful if I get a cut. Small nicks can become huge punctures. I keep my nails short to try and curve it, but I always find a way. Yes I did start off with a razor, but this is not a Guide to Cutting. Let’s just say I’m like a shark the slightest hint of seeing my own blood triggers me. I don’t use a knife anymore haven’t for 7 years, guess there is that.
When I finally hit rock bottom, I ended up donating blood, nearly weekly and under fake names. I made myself sick. Somewhere I started asking myself what I would do if the virus hit. My biggest source of my problems would be gone, and I could start anew. Suddenly I was watching kids my own age holding their own. I guess it gave me hope that someone my age could change the world no matter what. That’s what draws me into THE TRIBE. At the end of the day this is a show about a group of scared kids who are able to survive and thrive when their world is the darkest.
This isn’t a pity party. Honestly, I wrote this a month ago and just got around to getting back to it. I think there was a point to this story. I guess I just wanted to share why this show means so much to me. Part of the deal I made myself was if I ever got to meet Ray, I would tell him what THE TRIBE meant to me. I was too afraid with him on the phone so I sent him an email to which he responded. A lot of that letter was rehashed here. He might have passed it on to the Cast and Crew, I hope he did, and if not maybe someone is reading it now. It just didn’t feel right that people who I consider my family didn’t know.
I have had a lot of ups and downs in this fandom, in life. One thing remains though; just like the Mall Rats they taught me how to be loyal. I guess that’s what the point to this is. I’m not going anywhere as a tribe fan they always seem to pull me back in. I’ve tried to escape it, but it’s a part of me. The virus would have gotten me long ago, but the second I hear anything remotely connected to the tribe I’m first in line. I promise my next editorial won’t be depressing as long as you promise to keep the dream alive. For as much as I complained about new fans (Sorry guys) they are not going anywhere either we are all a tribe now, a family, Taisan would probably have us stand in a circle by now holding hands. I’m lucky to be standing here so many years later holding your hand.