When Video Games Get Stuck In Your Head
"Hey, Portal 2 came today! I'll just pop it in real quick. You know, check it out while the wife is getting ready for bed. Just to see if it's worth keeping."***4 a.m. I stumble upstairs and into bed, realizing I've forgotten to brush my teeth only after I've already gotten comfortable. Next time, I reason, I'll just leave a portal in the mirror so I can brush my teeth from bed. That would also come in handy if I need to take a leak during the night. I wouldn't have to stand, bleary-eyed and legs shaking like a new-born calf, to roll myself down the stairs to the bathroom. I could just unbutton and arc the urine stream from portal to portal. But wait, I suddenly remember, I left the exit portal in the mirror, not in front of the toilet. I'm going to have to portal over some of that blue bouncy gel first, cover the far wall with it and reflect the stream off of that and into the bowl.
No, it's totally normal that I just laid down and now I'm faced with an intricate logic puzzle revolving around urine and OH GOD I'M PEEINGSome small, timid, rational part of my brain pokes at the wall of nonlogic: You've gotten your realities backwards. I shake my head, trying to clear out the incessant portaling keeping me awake. Just try to run through something boring, man. Do the budget in your head: Cell phone bill is $150, and that's due on 3rd. Internet is $60, due on the 7th. Car payment on the 10th, but the check doesn't come in until the 12th, so we're just going to have to portal the car bill over here to the 15th and goddammit.
Or you could just portal all the bills to the garbage can, and BAM! Time to ride some go-karts.***
On the plus side, it's the only time you'll get an actual, in-person view of your own ass.Wait, portals are a real thing, right?I thrash awake."What's wrong, honey?" She can tell I'm not fully sleeping."Portals. I keep forgetting whether or not I can do them," I reply, my brain still half-submerged in sleep."You can't," she answers helpfully. "You can't do portals. Did you stay up all night playing your game?""Yeah. Don't use the orange one right now; it leads to the toilet.""What?"*** It's morning. Late for work again. Shit.
Nope. Not a thing.***Doing 75 on the freeway, holding a cup of hot water with grounds floating on the surface. The guy in front of me is driving a white Jetta, like a goddamn sorority girl, and he hasn't nudged past 47 in miles. Worse: He's doing it right next to a semi in the other lane that's struggling with the steep grade. He has formed a mobile roadblock constructed solely of incompetence and fuckery.
... or maybe you can just portal in some Preparation H for the GIANT, GAPING ASSHOLE THAT IS SOMEHOW INEXPLICABLY PILOTING AN AUTOMOBILE RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU.
"Hey man, just checking in to see if you want your higher reasoning back. No? Cool. Ouuuuttyyyy!"***I close the door to my office, crumble into my chair and lay my burning eyes into my hands.
You can buy Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Or you can just throw a portal up right here, open another one up top, and form an infinite loop of this column - then you'll never have to leave at all!
For more from Brockway, check out Chrono Trigger 2 : Benders of Time, Trippers of Balls and Why Ebert Is Wrong: In Defense of Games as Art.