I have an image in my head, and I am going to share it with you.

I’m in a field. It’s a field because it needs to be open and inviting, like a good hug from a close friend or someone you care about, but have not seen in many years. It’s full of California poppies, those brilliant and radiant flowers that seem to sparkle as the wind and light hit them from different directions. Across the field on this impossibly perfect spring day, Joss Whedon stands with a smile on his face. He’s standing next to a massive oak tree, and the shadow it casts falls gently over him. It’s inviting. It’s comforting. He’s wearing a light cardigan and it’s the color of an eggplant. He waves at me, and I can’t help but wave back.

I start walking across the field, taking time to run my hands through the swishing poppies as a breeze picks up. As I get closer to Whedon, I see that there’s a small folding table next to him. Is it possible? There’s a plate full of freshly-baked cookies, and somehow, impossibly, I know that he made them vegan so that I could eat them, even though he’s not a vegan himself. Is that a cold glass of almond milk sitting next to the plate? I can see condensation building on the side and slowly running down. He knew, I think. He knew I loved this. I race towards the oak tree, towards the blue horizon that meets with the green and orange earth, and I can’t wait to give him a hug, to enjoy the milk and cookies, to catch up, to talk about what’s going on in our respective lives.

I’m just feet away when I realize the table isn’t real. The cookies aren’t real. The glass and the condensation and the way the light reflects off of it aren’t real. This isn’t just any normal field, either, but before I can slow my body from the rush, I realize that I’m at the edge of a cliff, and that’s why the sky met the horizon in the way that it did. It’s the edge.

Whedon sees the fear on my face, and he merely smirks in response. In one motion, he grabs me forcefully and chucks me over the edge, and as he does so, he’s laughing. He’s laughing. I fall and it is not graceful or pretty or poetic. And all I can remember is that he was laughing at me.

" —- Mark Oshiro (x)