It’s midnight. I’m in my bedroom at my parent’s house. It’s all candles, incense, and Christmas lights. Somewhere Kurt Loder is reporting on the 1997 year in music. I can’t see him, I can only hear him when I die.
I’m playing Doom, I’m pretty high, and I’m trying to convince myself that I’m not a teenager anymore.
I started the night intense, focused, pulling on a Golden Pineapple Cartridge from Phat Panda, but have since switched to the Afghani Kush from Interra Oils and I’m a little more contemplative. A couple of weeks ago, when I first tried the AK, I came back to myself several hours later to find me dancing alone in my room to Porno for Pyros, further adding to my confusion about what year it is and how old I actually am. That tells you how good it is.
I grew up in NY, a good Catholic boy and Hell holds certain bad-boy mystique in my heart. A red flaming desert, looking all cool, like some sick Heavy Metal shirt. I don’t believe in hell anymore though, at least not any fiery wasteland. I’ve seen bombed out ghettos, extreme poverty. I’ve seen psyche wards, ICUs. I’ve seen pictures of child soldiers, war, slavery. I don’t want to imagine the conditions that go into creating all the comforts that I take for granted on a daily basis. It’s too much and it’s scarier than any of the bedtime stories we tell each other to inspire us to be the good boys and girls we have all become. Hell isn’t other people, hell is other people not taking care of other people.
Anyways, I was playing Doom, and it’s pretty awesome. I’m also pretty sure I’m not a teenager anymore. Video games are smarter, or at least I am able to play video games smarter than I did when I was a teenager. It’s interesting for me to analyze the way I play games, as I think it accurately reflect who I am and how I react to problems and situations in my everyday life.
I’m of the belief that I have a high level of testosterone. I base this belief not on any scientific fact, but simply because I heard that if your ring finger is bigger than your index figure that indicates high levels of the big T. As a result, when I’m playing games, I like to go all in, guns blazing shooting all the bad guys as quickly, as loudly, as messily, and as completely as possible. This usually lands me dead within a minute, but… when done correctly… it makes me look, feel, and play like a bad ass.
I play Doom on hardcore difficulty, not because I’m a good player, I suck, but because it makes me a better person. I go in guns blazing, into every single encounter, and I die quickly every single time. The loading times are long between deaths, maybe too long, but they lend enough time to ponder how much I suck at dealing with problems, and how if I would just slow down and consider the situation a little better then perhaps I could get something done. And then I try it again, and I do it right this time. That’s when Doom really shines.
Because when you do it right, the way Doom wants you to do it, then Doom lets you feel like the badass 80s action figure dripping with testosterone that you always knew you were. And that’s quite a gift. That’s not a way I ever got to feel as a teenager because I was too busy carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders to ever notice anything.
It’s 2am now, Kurt Loder has finished reporting on the 1997 Year in Music, or rather, my girlfriend has gone to sleep and stopped watching old MTV on YouTube. While I am in my bedroom at my parent’s house, it’s in Washington State now, not the NY bedroom where I grew up. I can look back at every decision I have ever made that led to me being exactly right here at exactly this moment, and it all makes sense. Now I can see where I went wrong and where I went right. I now know that the way I handle problems determines exactly how and if the problem ever gets solved. Now weed is legal, and I can occasionally kick ass at Doom.
I’m definitely not a teenager anymore.