Alexia Überalles

It is an especially disturbing condition to find oneself in, if one enjoys gaming, to be suddenly (or at whatever speed) ripped from the illusion of the virtual environment. To be separated completely and utterly from the idea that what one has been doing in the game world even matters at all, I mean. To be one moment hallucinating vividly in the mind, living out some other, ostensibly more desirable reality, where genuine mortality is a non-factor, according to a programmed and satisfying designed experience, and then the to become cognizant of the fact that you are in reality just watching colored pixels turn on, and then off again, according to some obscure and complex protocol through which the displayed light and sound correspond to the input you’ve provided, by which said hallucination has been artificially induced, and that nothing you’ve done during the 45 hours you spent rescuing that virtual place from evil has ever really helped you or anyone else achieve anything in life, in any conventionally appreciated way.

I have had dreams where the same thing seemed to happen to me, except on a grand scale, and with my actual existence itself. Sometimes the certainty of its actual truth stays with me for a couple minutes after waking. It can be a little awful, that very convincing sense of everything I’ve ever been or done being suddenly now over, and of the idea that the last state that they were in, just now before ending, will unalterably comprise their final fruition — to the potential detriment of all posterity — and that this shall be the way in which my decisions echo throughout all of eternity. It’s especially the worst on days where I’m maybe not feeling as caught up or accomplished, or in synch with my intended path.

I had a nightmare when I was very young, for three months and every single night, where I experienced a special kind of inescapable horror. In those dreams, it was like this very amplified and exaggerated version of the scenario above. It was the most absolutely un-lucid type of psychological excursion you can have; I was utterly convinced it was all real, to the point where it sometimes took very uncomfortably long to come back to reality, after I’d woken up. I’ve needed to process that experience in writing for a long time, and haven’t done it. I think I’ll just do it. I think maybe my next post will have to be about that.

My kid makes really good green Thai curry. He learnt it from his auntie, who spent a year there, or something. In Thailand, I mean. That has nothing to do with any of this, unless you consider the way in which everything is connected. Unless that’s not real, and I’m just actually nuts.

I thought life was real. I thought it was something to be had. Just then, right now, as the disillusionment swallows me whole, and I find that I’m sailing once more down into the abyss, I am again suddenly swept up on the winds of inspiration, and made again to feel as though I’ve been touched by the finger of God (who had only so recently just forsaken me) and the ecstasy again consumes my soul. Business as usual.

By Ben Wolf

It's a secret!

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