Banging My Head On The Ceiling

For a while I wasn’t sure why I keep playing Street Fighter V.

Enjoyment isn’t a word I would use to describe my feeling with this game.

Frustration seems fitting as I spend more time yelling at my TV while playing online instead of enjoying.

I often utter “Good Game” after losing repeatedly. And this is stupid simply for the fact that the person who won and is miles away from me, can’t hear me say it because I’m not chatting with them as they pummel my feeble attempts at playing.

“Good Game” is said for the same reason a Preacher might say “God Forgive Me!” after someone cuts him off and takes the parking spot he was eyeing in a Christmas Season mall parking lot.

It’s the ending to a personal verbal tirade and a reset to lost human sensibility while swaying on tilt.

You can’t just tell someone to eat a bag of dicks after saying “Good Game,” because then, no matter how much your gritted teeth poison the saying of “GG’s”, any ill intentions to immediately follow will have lost much of their venom.

I know this only because I’ve lost enough times at this damn game to basically have a PH.D in Salt Intake.

Clearly I don’t love this game.

I like it.

But I hate it too.

And it’s at this point I find myself wondering why the hell do I keep playing this game.

Why not move on  and try to play more of Mortal Kombat, or Tekken, or just say to hell with Fighting Games and go back into the wacky world of JRPG’s or QTE-laden Action Titles.

And it hit me recently in the midst of losing yet again to Cross-Ups, Throws, Frame Traps, and the occasional Raging Demon–F*ck you Akuma player #345…Good Games my dude–that the reason I keep playing Street Fighter V is because I’ve clearly hit my own ceiling.

And I want to bust through it so badly because it’s the only ceiling I feel I can break.

Look, I don’t have any rose-colored dreams about becoming a major success with unconditional love, support, and a bitchn’ Credit Score.

Those notions of owning a home or having the body of a Apollo Crews, or having an actual career instead of a low-paying slave working gig in retail flew out the window several years ago as my expectations out of life dwindled more and more.

I’m now in my early 30’s, seemly forever stuck in a hometown I swore in my teens to leave and never come back to again. I’ve bounced between living with roommates to back among my parents’ dwelling like some bottom feeding parasite. I’m burning bridges and crumbling friendships and relationships with people, I conned into giving a damn about me, because I still haven’t figured out how not to be such an introverted piece of shit bastard to them in one form of another. I’m unable to help them cope with their own demons because my man-child ass can’t seem to really help myself.

And my self-loathing increases exponentially every time  I refuse to drive myself off a bridge and into a lake on my way to work because I literally had a shortcut available but had to be a coward and take the long way.

I don’t say any of this to ferret some sympathy.

And advice could be given to someone more deserving.

I’ve accepted my place, and know that the only real best case scenario I have in all of this, is putting the student loan debt collectors on speaker phone while I hang myself, and becoming some New York Times think-piece that gets dissected, misread, and bashed to shreds on Facebook and Tumblr.

The ceiling on life is so low and impenetrable that I wake up everyday with a crick in my neck.

And deep down, it’s because of that ceiling I have this obsession with breaking the ceiling for some dumb fighting game.

I can’t quit SFV.

Besides, I just picked up Nash and his school outfit.

I mean…Swag.

 

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Short Stories To Nowhere: What Money Can’t Buy…

At first, we thought the black liquid was oil, that we’d struck it rich and that we’d be able to retire and live in leisure. We actually started writing down all the ways we’d spend the money.

Our first choice was a jet-ski which was silly in retrospect as neither of us knew how to swim. It was more of a personal status symbol between our two-person minimum wage club. It was the tattered banner for the never-hads but always wants, eyes always hungry for what we needed and starving for what we desired.

For those that say money can’t buy you happiness, they’ve obviously never witnessed the child-like glee of a grown-ass adult on a jet-ski. Or if they have, then maybe they’ve just seen it too many times for it to mean anything anymore.

Anyway, as for our third choice when it came to spending that Texas Tea money: swimming and riding lessons, obviously.

Yet, life has a funny way of transforming your precocious wishes you knew you wanted into a twisted necessity you didn’t know about before.

The black liquid that Jerry poked at with his teal titanium metal hiking stick wasn’t oil.

Oil doesn’t grab and pull when you poke and prod it.

Oil drips and wets and stains.

It doesn’t sway and  undulate on your skin as if its creating its own sea upon your best friend.

And it doesn’t twist and snap bones.

It doesn’t cause your best friend whom you’ve known since 2nd Grade to scream enough for every critter hiding and surrounding to scatter in fear. Nor stare through you with iris-less eyes and stumble and move towards you with a rhymthm to haphazard to mimic.

This wasn’t oil.

This is was evil.

This was both unholy death and re-birth of my best friend.

And this was going to be either the end of him or me.

Survival is true but harsh.

Jerry beat me in a number of bike races around Eagle Point as a kid. He cheered me on when I made it on the College Wrestling Team. And he spent many bar trips with me as I replayed how my marriage crumbled into absolute failure.

Now, Jerry shuffled towards me, snarling and roaring at me like a violent mongrel. His arms clawed at me, gripping more air and murderous intent.

I stood frozen into a hitter’s stance with my “hiking stick” a worn down Louiville Slugger given to me by a brother who now only wanted me dead.

If I had the money to spend, I’d buy a way to fix Jerry.

I’d buy a way for me not to kill him, so he won’t kill me.