On a smoking patio, where a small garden waterfall gurgles, a cloister of diehards share a flask and swap stories. A girl in a lime-green bikini top calls herself Mercy Temptation. Her friend, bespectacled, balding, and damp with sweat, goes by Rascal. They've been here since afternoon on Thursday, for every debauched moment of CONvergence, and they are beaming.
"For those of us in the geek community, CON is the ultimate expression of being yourself," says Rascal. "I can't talk to women," he admits. "Period." He grins wryly, then shrugs. "This weekend, I got three numbers."
"I'm exhausted, but happier than I've been in years," says Temptation. "CONvergence is always a turning point for me, no matter where I am in my life. It's a counseling session. It's a crying shoulder. And it's the party of a lifetime."