I am going to go on a bit of a rant today about what has gone wrong with the Assassins Creed series lately, not because I have some irrational hatred but because the series means a lot to me. The thing is though, I have decided to protest the newest Assassins Creed game because I don’t agree with the direction that the series is going. I may be one man, but I would like to share my thoughts on why I have made this decision, so when you are ready hit the jump to continue on, and maybe you can understand my reasoning!
I know you can totally see this at the link, but here’s the official abstract:
“Azriel Odin, ex-assassin, arrives on the rain-drenched planet of Barracus. When things go horribly wrong, he can only seek help from the very criminals he used to work for.
Meanwhile, across the galaxy, a man called Delta-Six wakes up in a hospital with no memory. Without knowing where to turn or who to trust, he vows to escape before he loses his identity completely.
As fate brings these two closer together, we discover a world where life is cheap, identities are bought and sold, and a quest for redemption can change the fate of a whole galaxy.”
Doesn’t that just send a shiver down your spine? I love me some cyber noir.
This game comes from a long line of adventure games from a two person company (plus dog) called Wadjet Eye Games so I assure, its pedigree is solid. Take this whole overview with the grain of salt that is I personally really don’t like point and click adventure games. More specifically, I don’t like games where I’m left thinking that I’ve tried everything that makes sense and now I have to brute force an obtuse object puzzle. I guess I don’t like bad adventure games, and you can read into the state of the genre from that. This here is a sweet game, point and click or not.
Only a handful of times, maybe three or four, during the entire game was my guess for what should logically solve the given situation not feasible. The moment to moment puzzles are rock solid, seamless, and highly rewarding. Aside from the inherent satisfaction of solution, what this really did for my experience was that it made me feel like a rad detective. Captain Deckard doesn’t ever forget to pick up that one thing that he needs to glue to his fishing net to open the door. He goes somewhere, he solves some shit, he does it right, and he gets narrative pay off because of it. That’s exactly what this game delivered: there was no disconnect between what the character was written to be and what my interaction created.
Any frustrations that I faced as a player my character faced in the context of the game, making them more into obstacles that developed a character. Any victories, even if they were the small victories of correctly negotiating with a clerk to borrow his ID, were not the victories of me, the nerd at a computer working systems in a game, but the victories of Azriel Odin, the over named private eye bad ass(Seriously that is some indulgent naming. I love it).
The more I look at it, the more this is an artifact of a top-down approach to narrative game design. The script was written first, and then each individual scene was designed with that in mind. Just like the design of the puzzle elements serve the narrative, the narrative does its best work in giving context for the puzzle. The most mundane puzzles regarding barely sci-fi every day situations become carefully chosen slices of a continuous narrative. it creates a feedback loop that keeps a quick but very measured pace. Pacing is this game’s middle name, (Gemini Pacing Rue) which is something that the entire medium struggles with every day.
If you love adventure games, this is the cream of the crop. If you hate them, this is your best opportunity to expand your horizons.
The opening credits begins to roll, a light hearted, whimsical tune starts to play in the background, and immediately I’m entranced. As the beautifully animated screen rolls up, the title paints the perfect picture for me; it’s a shot of Otis the Owlboy sitting in marvel on a clifftop, gazing out into the sun rise. But what stands out most is the music. Its wondrous and enchanting, and as the violins and symbols of the theme crescendo powerfully, something magical tells me that I’m about to embark on a marvelous journey. Reminiscent of the 16-bit nostalgia of the SNES era, even the credits of the game’s demo achieve exactly what’s intended; to transport the player back to a more youthful time, where games were about popping down on the carpet, two feet away from the television with a controller in both hands and a naive smile on your face, ready to begin your next adventure. Everything about these credits are fantastic, and eager with excitement, I click “New Game” and get started.
Owlboy is a new indie adventure game being developed by D-Pad Studio. The game was a finalist at the Independent Games Festival, and from the start of the demo I can see why. In an independent market that is saturated by mediocrity, Owlboy radiates with something that the indie-game scene so desperately needs right now; polish. From the simple but captivating score, to the undeniably gorgeous pixel work, its clear that the staff over at D-Pad have put their souls into making every aspect of this game shine, and shine it does.
As I start my new file, the game pans open, and I’m greeted with a MIDI version of the opening theme. I can’t help but crack a smile of amusement at how well the team at D-Pad have recreated the simplicity that made the old SNES games great. The first option in the game is to interact with a road sign, and it gives me a basic run-down of the controls. They’re pretty standard; movement has been mapped to the arrows and the WASD buttons. I move a bit forward in the map, and I’m greeted by my first companion, and he tells me where to go from here; The Owl Temple. There’s another road sign up ahead, and it tells me that I can teleport the party member who is simply named “gunner” for now. As I fly, I can teleport my gunner and grab him mid-air to shoot down my future enemies. The mouse controls the aim, with the left-button firing. The control scheme is fluid, although the game should definitely be played with a mouse. A laptop scroll pad definitely lacks the reactivity you want to play well.
As I continue on the through the map in search of the Owl Temple, I come across a series of floating rings hanging off the bottom of the soaring cliffs. At first glance I think they’re traps, and I confuse the leaves for barbs. But when I fly through one, to my pleasant surprise, a light bell rings, and a token counter pops up on the side of the screen. I’m supposed to collect these rings! It’s an incredibly fun little side-quest that draws me into the game. Now I’m not just looking for the Owl Temple, I’m gonna find each and every ring.
When I reach the top of the map, I spot a quirky looking cabin, and my curiosity is peaked. I go inside, and discover that it’s an item shop as this delightful tune begins to play. The shopkeeper greets me, and tells me about a coupon campaign he’s got going on. Those nifty tokens I’ve been collecting, “Buccanary coins”, can be used to buy new items. This is great for two reasons. One; upgrades! And two; pirates are sure to be abound somewhere with a word like Buccanary. Hell yeah! As a first timer, the shopkeeper gives me a free canteen, and informs me that if I collect 15 tokens, I get a surprise. Cool! So, I start to shop around, and there are only two items to buy. But, that’s to be expected, this is the game’s demo, and its the beginning of said demo. Since I already have a canteen, I decided to buy “The Toolbox”, a hat for Geddy, my un-named gunner, that lets him shoot faster. I grab the hat and leave, and soar up into the clouds, where Geddy tells me I can find the Owl Temple.
I fly Otis up through the clouds into a new map, and as I do, a Zelda-esque title fades onto the screen and a informs me that I’ve found the Owl Temple. Geddy tells me that I’ve got to find the wind machine, but that it could be anywhere in these ruins, so I better hop to it and start searching. I start with the left side of the map, and happily enough, I find enough rings to have collected 18, more than enough for that surprise. I head back to the shop, and he gives me my new item, “Orange Ish”, which increases the fire rate of my gunners. After collecting my prize, I head back into the Owl Temple and begin to trek across the right side.
After finishing off a few enemies, I come across the game’s first puzzle; by hopping on a drifting cloud, I can get it to pour down a torrent of water. Enough water in fact, to fill up the well holding the switch to the gate blocking my path. The switch flickers on, and the gate pulls back, granting me passage. But as I journey on, I reach a waterfall that also inhibits my traveling; the water is too heavy for my wings, and I can’t fly. Luckily enough, there are a series a platforms I can hop across to move forward. I make it safely across, and carry on. But again, I reach another blockade; a wall of stone, and no switch to open it. There is however, a tiny, fiery little creature scuttling around the room. And as it turns out, I can pick the sucker up! I grab hold of it, toss it straight at the rocks, and lo’n’behold, the critter explodes a pathway to my next puzzle. It’s another cloud-water puzzle, but this time, I have to maneuver the cloud into position by exposing an air vent. Easily solved, and I move on. Although the initial puzzles of the demo are pretty simple to solve, what I see underneath their simplicity is creativity, and I have a pretty good feeling that later on in the full game, they’ll be more than challenging enough.
As I press on through the maze of the Owl Tunnel, and evade some nasty fire-breathing enemies, I reach my next checkpoint. I hop across and into a shallow pond. Inside the pond, there’s a tiny fish-looking animal swimming about, and I realize that not only can I interact with it, this little guy is my save point! I save my progress, and keep going. But apparently, I’ve stumbled into unfriendly territory; gnome territory to be exact. And these nasty little buggers do not like flying. One flap, and they’re all over me. On the flip side though, their eye-sight is crap, and I can evade them by hoping through the map undetected. With my feathers intact, I slip through, and finally I’m treated to my pirates! I large, rather dramatic one and a scrawnier, surly mate, both of whom are shipwrecked in the temple. They’ve got a way out, but its a one-passenger trip only; they need another ticket out, and who just so happens to have a genuine Owl Cloak? This guy right here! And they want it. Looks like I’ve stumbled across my first boss fight!
They’re easily defeated though, I fire away at the big guy’s health until his partner hops into the ship’s turret, and which point I turn their weapon back on themselves, and have them fire at the over-hanging rocks. Beating them was simple enough, and at this point I’m starting to hope that later on, the difficulty definitely will get amped up. The demo is fun, but a little too simple for now. Anyhow, after whooping these two baddies, they get into a tiff, and I learn about a Captain Molstrom, who I can only assume is the game’s antagonist. The larger pirate begins to question whether or not they’re being honorable, and the surly one accuses him of treachery, warning him that the temple’s Guardian will smite him. I have a feeling that I know where this demo ends; which my ass being chased by said Guardian. “Surly” turns tail and runs, and Fatty McPirate is so impressed with my capabilities, that he decides to join me. On one condition, if I find his missing skull. Not to worry, the man’s head isn’t missing.
It turns out that Fatty McPirate is also an actor, and our very own Hamlet has lost his prop. And so the search begins. It’s a short one though, and the skull is dropped by a very curious new character, and insect-looking joker who thinks I’m stupid. I’m not entirely sure how he’ll play into the rest of the story, but he seems pretty humorous, and I like him already. With the skull in hand, I return to Fatty McPirate, also known as Alphonse, and fork over the skull. Now that I’ve earned his appreciation, he decides to join my team. And with a gun that fires three powerful fire-blasts, he’s a welcome addition. Although switch between Geddy and Alphonse is a clunky chink an a relatively smooth UI; you have to open the menu and select him, rather than being able to cycle through party members in-game.
After teaming up with Alphonse, I run into my next boss fight. You know what I said about the demo being too simple? Yeah, well this boss made me eat my words. Its swarms and swarms of the annoying little green fliers I’ve run into throughout the game so far, in addition to a much larger, much angrier green flier. These things are nimble, pissed, and they do enough damage to finish you off quick if you get caught in the swarm. But after a few tries I prevail, and move on to the next round. Turns out though, the next round is the last round.
I come across a giant owl totem, a shrine hidden within the depths of the temple. But the idol begins to shudder and quake, and surprise surprise, it’s actually the Temple Guardian, a giant toad. And it’s not friendly…Time to run! I fly through the passage ways of the temple, trying to outrun frog-face while evading falling boulders. But finally, he corners me into a dead-end. The toad lets out a mighty roar, and the demo ends.
Overall, Owlboy is definitely one to keep an eye open for later this year. Even the award-winning pixel art alone makes the game worth playing, and when you couple that with wonderful score, the simple-but-engaging gameplay, and what seems to be a light, fun adventure of a story, I’m eagerly awaiting the full version of Owlboy so the journey can continue.
We didn’t start with Nothing. Nothing was six months ahead when we started. We weren’t even thinking about Nothing. We started in the neighboring dimension to where nothing would be, a window universe. We started, to be truthful, when we were born. In another way, we started a year and a half ago when we were thinking just ‘what would be so cool.’
After we had discovered ‘what would be so cool,’ the first gear spun. The bones were added to the cauldron: “Preproduction.” This stage lasted a while, but was generally considered to be far too short. This is where we would talk and draw on napkins and stand up from tables at night to illustrate with our arms. This is probably when it felt most complete, even though we weren’t quite sure what was going to happen.
This is the stage that anyone can live in. It’s window shopping, it’s daydreaming, it’s just messing around. It’s a safe place to be and tossing ideas around is just improvisational acting for some. It’s something we loved to do recreationally all the time. We had made a game out of this stage, that’s how great it is. We could play revolutionary all day.
This stage was the honeymoon. We had many more with us in this stage than we do now. At the end it was more of a “We few, we happy few” than “We the people,” but that’s how it goes. There’s no more bitterness there than there is when the sun sets. It was just easier to include everyone who wanted to have a say, the more the merrier.
Then we realized that we had to get to work on Nothing. Just to get existence out of the way so we could really start laying down some work. It was like jumping off a cliff and not knowing whether we had landed or not, but Nothing was there, and we could walk around at least.
There was a lull during this period. Sometimes we got witted down to just me, and that was truly frightening. All of the joy from before had to put on its tie and go to its job to pay the rent. Every once and a while there would be a moment of excitement, of discovering something new in what was Nothing. For the most part, it was the slow ponderous start.
That stage didn’t last too long, and soon we were back in our swing. We started laying down bricks, making flowers, writing scripts. The scripts were really the hardest part, but also what gave the whole thing life. We started at a crawling pace, stepping into the pool one toe at a time, and we left everything to crunch days right before deadline. Thank God we had deadlines.
This is the period during which we would dream about our project at night, after lying awake in bed thinking about it for hours. The biggest question on our mind was ‘How are we going to seriously pull this off?” Sometimes what we needed to pull off was making the sunlight look exactly right, sometimes it was making sure that running caused the world to move under the player’s feet just right, and that the world never stopped turning. Most of the time, though, it was just a general anxiety.
Then it got progressively more real. Each day the big deadline came closer. It loomed over the entire space silently, we never had to mention it. It would suggest things like taking out all the scaffolding, making a door that other people could use, and general polishing and spit shining all around. This was particularly daunting as most of us would be standing on said scaffolding while these ideas occurred to us. Vertigo is the closest description of what this feels like.
At the same time, we were doing what we loved every hour of every day. We would be in our space, our once Nothing space, talking and arranging and directing actors and teaching flies how to fly. Every day we had a new challenge of making this space and time experience feel exactly right to whoever found their way in. It’s an undescribable feeling, seeing it all come together. It’s kind of like watching a forest coming out of winter and crawling to life.
This love hate pull went on forever and then came to an abrupt halt. The moments before the deadline… I can scarcely remember them. We were firing white hot on all cylinders. Shaving corners off rectangles, trimming the grass, packaging and wrapping, putting away all of our tools. The deadline became a concrete entity about a week before it arrived, and it pushed us all into and through the crunch.
The crunch! We live and die for the crunch. The twilight rush, the cram, overtime, whatever you call it, it is incredibly painful. It’s somewhere between giving birth and speed solving a Rubiks cube at the World Rubiks Cube Solving Competition finals. It was all in anticipation of that final moment, lifting my hands from the very last object we had to put in, and boarding up the door that only we could use so that we could open the gates that everyone else would use. It’s hard to even look back on doing that.
Technically, our work was done, but that thought had never nor will never cross our minds. We are never done with anything. That is the heaviest price to pay, to only have the ability to get things to be good enough rather than complete. Technically speaking, though, we rest in the fact that it is complete.
The first night’s sleep after the last day is the best sleep we ever had. The sleep was our celebration, and it was the best party we had ever been to. It’s like that every time. It was empty, dreamless sleep that lasted well into the afternoon, for me at least. It felt relieving to have emptiness again, just for a moment.
I won’t talk about what happened to our Something after we were done. It’s out there, somewhere and God bless those who find our work and savor it. Aside from that, it is just a memory for us.
The period of that peaceful sleep only lasts so long, though. Sooner or later, we’re going to progress our science. New methods and lenses and procedures will have been invented for examining ‘what is so cool. We will likely reinvent the definition at least twice. ‘ ‘What is so cool’ may not even be recognizable from last year’s model.
And then, at some point during another new game of invention, we will all hear a single cog latch on to its brother, and we will all know what must be done.
The Stanley Parable is a small mod for Half-Life 2 that tells the story of Stanley, who is employee number 427, working for a nameless company where is assigned job is to press buttons that appear on a screen as he is prompted to. You play as Stanley on a particularly curious day. Playing as Stanley, the player embarks on a journey to discover why Stanley is no longer receiving orders. Stanley’s journey is fairly short, it will take less than an hour to complete Stanley’s adventure. What makes the game so interesting however, is how you choose to guide Stanley through his adventure. Other games have claimed to give players freedom to make their own choices that impact the story, games like Fallout and Mass Effect are examples of this. While certain elements of the story may be different for different playthroughs of these games, the majority of the story however, follows the same linear progression whether you choose to be a benevolent hero or a psychopathic murderer. In The Stanley Parable however, the choices you make drastically alter how the story unfolds.
The Stanley Parable has a lot to offer in terms of unique gameplay elements and how the game and player experience relate, I would like to discuss some of the more interesting topics brought out by this game in some detail, so I would suggest that you play through the entirety of the game before continuing, or at the very least watch the full video walkthrough understand what I am about to discuss!
Hey guys. It’s been suggested that I start posting a few of my short stories and exerts here on the site, and I thought that would be really cool. So, to kick it off, this is a piece that wrote a few months back. It’s about love, insanity, human nature, and the ocean. The piece is called Salt Water. And yes, that should be in quotes, not italicized. But fuck convention. Here we go.
The waves. I can always hear the waves. In this room they’re inescapable, their ebbing a happily little reminder pouring in from the shore;
“Now just watch me, I’ll teach you how to breathe again”.
I sit and watch the waves, with a necklace laced in my hands. The pendant is a little purple stone, and I roll it in between my fingers; an involuntary reflex, like a nervous laugh.
Four minutes left.
The ocean is supposed to have a calming effect, but I’ve never understood it. It’s too vast, too endless. It’s engulfing. Y’know, you’re screwed if you’re ever shipped wrecked or adrift. Miles upon miles of endless sea, consumed by emptiness and loneliness and irony. Insanity, that’s what the ocean leaves you with; insanity and a punch line. Did you know that if you drink salt water, the resulting dehydration leads to progressively intensifying hallucinations? Every drip, an acid hit of desperation. You know the salt in the water is going to kill you, a parasite draining the life out of you. But you drink anyway. You drink because every cell in your body is screaming and begging and pleading with you to just take one sip, they just can’t be without water anymore.
“Put us out of our fucking misery!”
And you drink. You drink because you can’t live without it. You can’t live without it, and it’s slowly killing you. That’s the punch line: You’re fucked.
Two minutes left.
I find myself compelled to clean. Hotel rooms have three ways to pass time alone; eat, sleep, and watch television. And nothing good is ever on hotel television. This is intentional. Why watch new releases and porn for ten bucks a movie when The Colbert Report is on? That pretty much just leaves eating, and after four days, the room resembles a tornado disaster more so than a bedroom.
I need to not think right now. If I’m cleaning, I’m not thinking.
One minute left.
Cleaning doesn’t work, especially since it’s a hotel room. Hard to find the purpose in cleaning the floor when you know what’s probably on the bed spread. Fucking black lights…Maybe I should sit.
Time’s up. ‘Knock knock’
We’re a race of observation, not of action.
My head turns thoughtlessly, an involuntary reflex, like a nervous smile.
It’s her. Of course she’s on time. I get up and walk to the door, counting seconds in my head. I hit ‘ten’, then pry the door open.
It’s her. It’s her, and she’s on time, and she’s standing in the doorway of my hotel room. Why is she always on time?
“Can I come in?” she asks.
“Yeah”, I reply, and she strides in, glancing at me as she crosses. Just one sip, right? She strolls around the room, investigating, inspecting the rogue Taco Bell wrapper; a defiant traitor, divulging the truths of my surroundings.
“How’d you find me?” I ask her.
“Michael told me”, she says, looking back at me. She doesn’t break the stare, but instead she flashes the grin. If you’ve seen it, you know it. History changes and the world rotates in reverse because of that grin. Another little sip. Regally, she removes her coat, and drops it on one of those dark green, felt couches you always see in hotel rooms. She scans the room again, another search for evidence of my plight. She comes across the movie stubs on the dresser.
“You saw Black Swan?”
“Yeah, this Thursday”, I respond.
“I saw it too. It was pretty good. Kind of sad though”.
“It’s about a ballerina that goes insane. You couldn’t tell it was going to be sad?” I say it coarse and harsh. And there’s the catalyst. Her expression hardens, and she continues to search the room.
She says stupid things. She’s not as smart as she thinks. She’s not perfect. I have to destroy her somehow. I have to convince her so she can convince me.
She grabs the television remote, and plops down on the bed. The t.v flickers to life; the adult movie menu.
“So this is how you’ve been spending your time?”
“Couldn’t really help it. Black Swan kind of got me in the mood”.
“A suicidal ballerina got you hard?”
“Well not the suicide part, no, but the whole Natalie Portman, lesbian thing. You know I have a crush on her. I like skinny woman”. She stares again. I’m lying, I hate extremely skinny woman. Their bodies, skeletal, remind me of that fact that we’re all slowly dying. Some faster than others. I’m lying, but I have to convince her. She’s flawed, she’s average, she’s mundane. I have to convince her so she’ll convince me.
She flips through the options; Busty Bitches 5, Natural Busties 10, All Anal 3. The critics say that apparently the cinematography in All Anal 3 is vastly superior to the shoddy work in its lesser prequel. The dialogue is also said to have been much improved. “Truly a pinnacle of the cinema”, they say.
Shakespeare was wrong. It’s not a play. It’s a masquerade. Sex masquerading as art, sluts parading as artists in the last legal form of prostitution. Humans pretending to be something greater than what we are. Animals.
…She finds one she likes, and the impeccable directing skills of ‘John Fingerbang’ flash onto the screen. Then she just sits there. Sits and watches, listening to ‘Tara Star’ beg ‘Mitch Hardcock’ to ‘spank her harder’. Minutes pass, and she just sits and watches. Not only silences can be awkward.
“You know they’re going to charge me for that right?”. She inconsiderate. Another point to drive home.
She glances again with those eyes, and takes a few steps towards me.
“How are you?”, she questions, possibly with genuine concern. My eyes narrow in; a hunter’s gaze as my prey emerges, my opportunity finally presenting itself.
“What are you doing here?” I ask.
Deadpan expression, her gaze finally breaks as her eyes drop to the floor, to the nasty half-shag carpets of the hotel room. More seconds pass with, the tension so thick I can feel myself gag on it. Finally, she speaks.
“Matt, this isn’t what I wanted. I never wanted to hurt you”. Another quick chug.
Fuck you. Fuck you, fuck those words, fuck every quasi-compassionate cliché; the Hallmark cards and the movie quotes and the love poems. I know that’s not what you wanted, I know you never wanted to hurt me. I was never part of the equation. When someone says those words, it’s not because they were thinking about you. They were thinking about themselves; what they needed, what they wanted. What was easier for them. Cowards.
“I know that”.
“…I’m sorry”. Down another cup.
And there it is. The apology.
She walks closer to me, inches away now. Her eyes are burning through me, unbreakable and unyielding. Everything in the room is electrified. My heart beats so I hard I feel it my stomach, and it makes me want to puke. I’m already trapped in those eyes. In that smile, that grin. She knows.
“I don’t care.”
She steps forward, one last step across the threshold. She laces her fingers in my hair, presses her body up against mine. Her breathing is calm, slow, drawing me in. Mine’s a fucking jack hammer. I feel her on me; her breasts pushing against my chest, her breath on my lips, her thighs rubbing against mine. Her smell. Her fucking smell, everywhere. Choking me, confusing me, pulling me back, pulling me until finally we’re together. I’m engulfed in her: Her lips on mine, her hands lightly caressing my hair, her smell of clean clothes and laundry detergent. His sheets probably smell the same.
Throw yourself into that big, gaping sea and drink away.
Kids on Halloween are the paragon of human nature. Gluttons, they devour their toxin until it infects them. They gorge and devour and consume until it hurts and aches. They swear that it’ll be the last time. Then next Halloween rolls around…
My face is locked with hers. Her shirt comes off. My pants come down. In moments her bra is gone and my hands are on her. Everything is the same. But everything is different. Corrupted. Corroded. Still, I kiss her. I kiss her because that’s the punch-line: you’re fucked.
We’re a race of observation, not of action. At any given time, we can glance at a thousand different relationships, and pinpoint every flaw. We can see where the levies bend, straining to hold back the raging floods. We can see it. We see it, and we lecture, we rant, and beg them to see the reality; that they are a time bomb, counting down to implosion. We know this, and we know that their lives would be better, healthier, without each other.
But when we gaze upon our own reflection, and we see the toxicity levels rising, we can’t act. Every alarm in your head is blazing with the truth, but you’re paralyzed to it. Logic and rationality and sanity are no longer relevant. They’re gone because you’ve been drinking that salt water too damn long. You’re insane, you’re broken, and the only thing left to do is keep drinking.
She pulls away, and gazes at me again. Those fucking eyes…
“I still love you, you know that right?”, she asks.
“Do you still love me?”
And then she cries. It’s not the weeping kind, she doesn’t bawl. It’s the kind where the flood gates begin to fall, where the eyes water up and single tears cascade down. But isn’t that worse? Watching cancer erode someone away is harder than witnessing a car crash.
“What can I do? Please.”
I have to say something. It’s a reflex. When someone cries, you can’t possibly sit in silence. I have to say something. But the only thing that’s left is the truth.
“We’re going to fuck, until I can’t move anymore. Then we’re going to fall asleep. We’re not going to speak. And in the morning, when you wake up, I’m not going to be here”.
Everything stops then, in that moment, and we stare at each other. The time-continuum fissions, and that second spans an eternity.
And then she kisses me. She gives in to me. Not because of desire, or obedience, or because dominance makes her wet. It’s because she owes me. She owes because after the love, the caring, the devotion, after all of that, she tore my fucking heart out and ripped it into thousands of piece. And no matter how hard or long you try to assemble the pieces back together, all you’re left with is a mosaic; a fragmented, broken image of picture that was once beautiful. She owes me because everything in her that was once gorgeous and pure and human is now gone, and this is all that she can give me. And I take it, because I’m the same. Broken, fractured, twisted. The wires are wrong. This is all I can accept from her now, and it’s all she has left to give. Everything inside hurts, and the only consolation is to fuck her and use her until she’s the same as me.
And she does it. Because she loves me. Because this is all she can give me, all she can do to anesthetize me; to let me break her. Her last act of compassion.
So she kisses me, and I kiss her back. And we fuck until neither of us can move, until we’ve destroyed each other. Then we sleep.
And in the morning, there I am. Next to her.
Because I’m lost, adrift in the vastness. Caught in the abyss.
Because I’m so thirst. Because I need to drink, and all I have left is salt water.
Due to technical complications, we couldn’t deliver the goods (the Goodbyeworld podcast) on Wednesday. SCO and I were so mad about this, that we had a long talk on instant messenger anyways. After some deliberation, I decided that this would be the perfect distraction from our obvious lack of podcast. So here it is, the first goodbyeworld textcast. It’s like a podcast but you have to read it. If you prefer, it is an interview, but no one is asking any questions. It has been annotated after the fact with helpful tips and links so that everyone has a fair shot at following along. I hope this is informative or at least amusing.
Viewer discretion is advised. The following is raw and only slightly cut. Enjoy?