“OH MY GOD, it’s Pikachu, how cute! Can I have a picture?”
“I’ve played Nintendo since I was a kid. Pikachu means so much to me!”
Petting, kisses, hugs, leaning.
People’s affection almost knocks me down.
Layers of fur, battery pack buckled into a vest to keep me inflated, leggings.
Seeing light-up sneakers through mesh circles covering the costume’s eyes, I crouch and move my hands inside padded holes to wave stubby arms. A toddler runs away.
Inside, I’m mute, mostly blind and partially deaf.
Underneath, I marvel, in solitude, at how much excitement and joy appearing like this creates.