I took my car in to be winterized. We had our first snow, but I was out of town for the worst of it, then left again to Denver for the weekend. Today it rained nonstop, and there’s still remnants of snow here and there. It’s not cold enough to snow again, but it might overnight. I love winter, but it’s starting out slushy, which is gross, and dangerous for night driving. When I was driving home from the airport, I noticed I was slightly under the halfway full mark on my gas tank. I was taught to never let it go below halfway full by my Dad when I was 11. He told my other sisters this, too. My brothers were allowed to push their car home if they ran out of gas, and it was no big deal. If one of the girls did that, driving privileges were revoked. When I asked why it varied, he said it was for safety reasons. I was satisfied with that response.
I stopped at the gas station near where I live, and tried to fill my tank, but the door to my gas tank wouldn’t open when I pulled the latch. I was too disoriented to deal with it at that point, and did it today instead. The mechanic fixed it quickly, and jerry-rigged a design flaw so it won’t happen again. Then I got an oil change, etc. While I was waiting, that old show, Macgyver was on. I liked it, and loved Stargate SG-1 with the same lead. A woman sitting near me mentioned there is a new version on now, and told me when it’s on. She wished me a Happy Thanksgiving when they finished her car before mine. This is typical interaction in Sioux Falls between strangers. Macgyver was a nice buffer, because I didn’t get anxious when she began speaking to me. But I did stare at my phone until they finished my car after after that.
I don’t allow myself to play video games on my phone when I’m in public. I talk to myself when I play games, because it helps keep my anxiety down. I talk smack to the monsters to help control my fear. I know this isn’t weird, and lots of people do it, but in public, not everyone is a gamer. Many of us who are gamers are living part of our lives as action heroes, or villains when we game. We tend to behave the way they do in movies. We don’t just walk in and destroy all monsters instantly. We mock them, and tear them down verbally in clever, and amusing ways first. Just like in the movies. It’s puffing up your chest before a fight. It has nothing to do with the enemy. It’s just how a lot of humans keep their anxiety levels in check. And since I’m a woman, admitting video games scare me doesn’t necessarily diminish me in the eyes of potential mates. (I go out of my way to point this out, in hopes others recognize how silly it is, and stop supporting dumb.) I just don’t trust the filter between my brain and mouth, assuming it exists.
Phone games are harder for me than playing on my PC. It’s an interface issue. I need more options for controlling my avatar. Afterall, I’m an avatar controlling an avatar controlling an avatar. The fact that I can make my toons on Warcraft do mostly what I command them to do is outstanding, and took lots of practice. And lots of dying. It took a long time to figure out how to calm down after dying, and try again, without having a meltdown in between. I started out on Atari, and I’ve gamed since Pitfall came out. You’d think that meant I was good at it. That’s not the case. I’m good at recovering from death and trying again. Something inside me won’t let me just walk away, and come back fresh to try later. I feel compelled to try over and over until I get it. Obviously, this is working out so far. But I dread the day it doesn’t.
I remember how my Mom acted when she caught me doing this when I was learning how to code. I was exasperated, and raging, while trying to debug some code. It disturbed her enough to threaten taking my computer away. But from my viewpoint, it was no big deal. I was pushing myself because I was unwilling to accept a reality in which I didn’t get my way with my code. It’s easier to keep trying than it is to give up, and accept that reality isn’t what you assumed. I suppose it is a little disturbing. It’s part of why I know I can do anything. People like me don’t do well with utter defeat. It’s not that I’m afraid of losing. I don’t care about competing with other human beings. That whole concept is baffling. For me, it’s having reality shattered. I rely heavily on reality, and when it lets me down, I fall hard.
In a way, I think I set myself up for the hard fall. But it’s because I don’t think it’s possible to fall so hard, that knowing I can do anything isn’t worth it. I got tangled up trying to express that thought. This bit of knowledge is my greatest superpower. It makes life livable. It’s almost a form of arrogance, but one that relies solely on trust of self. I hope it keeps me from being an asshole. Assholes are lazy. Imagine how easy life would be if being an asshole was rewarding. And I’m not talking about Louis C. K. He’s a genius, and that has it’s perks. In my world, Louis C. K. is a demi-god. He can make me laugh, cry, get angry, etc. with ease. I’m still processing his TV show, Louis. I’m a season behind because it’s so brilliant, I had to think for a while after every episode. It’s like All in the Family for Gen X.
He gets away with everything Archie did, because we love him for making us laugh so hard at ourselves. He took self-deprecation comedy out back and told it some secrets, then got stoned, and told some jokes. Not literally, I’m trying to make an analogy again. Now you know why I keep trying, (even though there’s no detectable improvement.) I got sidetracked again. It’s me being literal with my disorientation. Tomorrow, I’m starting my new project. I’m so excited to begin. I’m off to read.