Thursday, October 10, 2013

Housewife Space Captain Part 4: The Long Night of the Soul

(You are reading this story in progress. To start at the beginning, please click here. To view the Table of Contents, click here. This story is being written live, daily, and with some audience participation in October 2013)


  It’s 4:30 in the morning. I’m supposed to wake up in a half an hour to get the day started, and I haven’t even been to bed yet.

  I don’t know what happened. I started playing the game as a single-player, and there were so many more levels and so many more tasks to do.  The great part was that I never had to repeat my orders or discipline my crew; they did everything I asked because they were programmed to.

  The bad thing was that I stayed up all night playing a stupid video game.

  I can’t even say I’m mad at myself, or regret the time. I was in my flow. I was in a perfect zone. The night flew by, and I was exhilarated. I felt proud of myself, confident.

  Frustrated sometimes, sure, but I felt powerful. Like I was making things happen, not just accommodating schedules and “fitting things in” for everyone but myself. I was owning it.

  Or pwning it, as the kids say.  Do they still say that? They used to say that.

  Anyway, even though I had to wade through take-out containers to get across the living room, I decided to write in here instead of cleaning up like I should have done last night.  I just want a few minutes to relish this feeling.

  Powerful, effective, a real leader. A get-r-dun-er.

  I conquered whole solar systems. I ran negotiations with three separate races of aliens. Some of them didn’t even speak English and I had to use a weird program to tell me how to contort my body to communicate with them!

  And the Theommis. . . They worshiped me. They kept telling me that I was exactly what they had been looking for.

  I even—and I can’t believe I’m writing this—I even went online this morning to tell the game makers how to improve the handling of their Space Zeppelins. It’s so obvious after playing with them that the gravimetric thrusters need to converge to a ring, not a point, because the field will center at the point anyway, and you need to leave  yourself enough leeway to get the damn thing through the wormhole. So instead of threading a piece of yarn through a sewing needle it’s more like parking a car.

  And they need to do something about the overhead displays; they are so disorienting. When I turned off the display, my motion sickness nearly vanished. Plus, you don’t bank in space, so if I stayed off the planets by negotiating treaties, I didn’t have to deal with the atmospheres as much.

  I don’t know if they’ll respond to my emails. I feel like that time when I was in middle school, and I wrote to Mars Candy asking them how much rat hair was in their products. It’s a silly thing, but important. I was so excited when they wrote me back.

  I hope they write me back.

  Anyway, I need to get the coffee brewing. I’ll just wake George and Isabella early, and have them help me. I’ll cough a little and say I stayed up coughing all night. Hopefully none of them will walk near the game system and feel how hot it is.

  I wonder if I should play the game again, and see if I can win it even faster this time. I don’t believe that no one has ever finished it; it’s a fun game, but it’s not rocket science.
OK, maybe I should just stay away from the game. Here I am, not having slept all night, and I’m contemplating spending part of my morning playing the game instead of trying to catch a nap if Juliette lets me.

  I should take a nap, or clean, or do something constructive. I can’t wish my life away on a stupid video game, right?

  I can’t believe I’m having such a hard time letting it go. They must design these things to hook down into your soul.

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