Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tetris Tragedy 1/3

A short story:

I’ll always remember where I was. The problem with tragedy is that it often comes at the most inopportune times.

It’s funny how the details of that moment are so clear. The tiles on the bathroom floor. The dust bunny with a cheez-it and a bottle cap hidden right under the sink cabinet. There was a roll of toilet paper half-used and partially re-rolled because the cat had decided it was a great little toy. I hated that little tabby cat--it never found the litter box and coughed up hairballs in the most visible location possible.

I, like all people of my generation, had brought my phone to the bathroom. I was having some anonymous cyber-tetris with another person I had been randomly paired with months ago. I used to play tetris alone a lot. Then I found out that there was a way to play it competitively. At first I played it with my girlfriend, but our work schedules were different and she just didn’t seem to have the time to satisfy my tetris needs.

So I started pairing with random people. I was pretty good with the game so I was picky with my partners. There was no thrill in the vanilla player. The person who would casually sit down and play without chatting. They were in it to play a little tetris, get the adrenaline rush of competition, and leave when their time was up.

I had made my way to the top ranks. I played and chatted. Between rounds I would try to strike up conversations with people. Too often people were one and dones; in and out after a round. I found a couple of people that would stick around for a few rounds and I hoarded them. They were jars to keep secrets in.

Between rounds I would chat with depth. I used it as therapy. There was something about revealing my darkest secrets to a random stranger in between intense competitions to win at a meaningless block stacking game. There was an existential release that only comes from wasting time in the purest sense of the phrase and revealing something so deeply meaningful--nay defining--to me and utterly without value to someone else.

And there was one that I had given the worst of myself to. Medusa36 was better than a diary. I had deduced that Medusa36 was some sort of nihilist feminist woman. I imagined her with a streak of unnatural color in her hair smoking a cigarrette in a dark room with only one chair and a window that cast the striped light of the blinds on a dusty floor. She sat around in a black tank top and hot pink underwear feeding off my pent-up rage.

It could have always been a lie though. She could have been some fat-ass gamer, the stereotype that we always have of the people that chat online. Or maybe it was a Wall Street broker, some high powered business man that got a cheap thrill from actually losing at something.

Because Medusa36 never won. But it was always a good fight. And she (because it’s my fantasy and the other possibilities are sad) was where I deposited my frustrations. I told her about how I dreamed of kicking the cat, or dangling it by its tail from a rooftop. I told her about how much I hated my friends.