Thursday, August 20, 2015

Here Comes The Regular...

The other night, I found myself at one of those bar/restaurant/arcade places. I was picking up a press badge for the con I'll be covering this weekend, and I'd never been to this particular one before. In fact, I haven't really been at those sorts of places much, if I'm being honest, though I do like to game.

Part of the night's festivities included us being given a card worth a free hour of play time. Quick scan on any machine and you get to play. Pretty simple, and I had a great time with Mario Kart, pinball, Galaga and Pac-Man. I didn't even expect it.

An hour's a pretty good amount of time, actually. At some point though, with about 15 minutes left my card kept coming up "Play time temporarily suspended."

For whatever reason I wondered what unknowable rule I'd broken first. Catholic guilt? I don't know. I tried switching games and it worked for me. In any case, I was able to continue my adventures with Night Moves pinball and go home feeling like a pinball wizard.

I'm feeling like something else tonight.
My brain kind of likes metaphors and similes, extended or not. Right now it seems like a way to talk about something I want to talk about without being more specific than I want to be.

I got to thinking about how without knowing why, my playing time got suspended. I kinda feel like that now.

There's plenty of reasons I can make up for why that would happen. Maybe I scanned my card too fast? Too much? Maybe I wore some part of the useful part of it off? Totally random glitch? To be honest, most of what I came up with had to do with me and what I could have done to cause it, even for something that small. Now I'm told that's a problem, and that it bleeds into other things and other places. I've been thinking about that a lot.

But I'm still thinking about what's happening in my life now that's suspending things. I feel like things were good, but they can't be as good again. I feel like I wore holes in things, or scratched off the most important bits. Maybe I swiped the card too much, insisting on keeping going, when I shouldn't have done that. I know I can be bull-headed and forgetful, either not doing things I should or blasting through a wall I shouldn'tve oughta.

Even worse, I'm wondering if it's really temporary. This thing, this rejected card I'm referring to, it feels bigger and worse than a temporary glitch. It feels like maybe I need to start again.

And at least with the cards, you can add more time. I don't know if I have that luxury. On top of that, the history is still there. Maybe the card says 0 minutes, but somewhere there's a record of where I went and what I did.

My habits are known, traceable.

I could start again as someone else, but maybe I like some of that history. Maybe I liked being a regular. Maybe I wanted to be known as a pinball wizard.

I could go somewhere else, start all over, be an unknown. But...I'm the sort who wants to settle in, who likes familiar places and faces.

I don't know if this solves anything, writing this, but at least, in a manner, it explains how I feel.
At a certain point, does time just run out permanently?
Can I really add time? Will the history hurt me? Will my scratching away ruin my own fun, or my ability to function here?
Has it already? Game over?
I really hope not. This is the last thing I want to lose.

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