I had a comfortable mundane life once. In that life, I had things. Nothing special compared to other things but special in that they were mine, they belonged in my life. They were nice regular person things. I had friends, I had family, sometimes on overcast days I even ventured outdoors. Sometimes I did comfortable mundane things in my comfortable mundane life. She moved like a hurricane but somehow, I didn’t see her coming. Before I realized what had happened it was too late and I was swept up by the winds of change.
I’m afraid this tale isn’t a new one. It’s as old as time itself. The names and places have changed but the story remained. A fella had it all until he fell for the wrong girl, one that took it all away from him. Worst of all, as the story often goes, he’s aware of it but still can’t quit her. As good as all those things were they just aren’t like her. They exist in a world with obvious limitations while she provides a world without. Some of you might know what I’m talking about, how it feels. In her world, you are anything and everything and nothing at the once and it all feels right.
She’s like an evening thunderstorm on a day that was too hot for its own good. She cools you off but as the sense of cool washes over you the electricity in the air makes your hair stand on end. You should go inside but the underlying danger makes you tingle with excitement. Your senses are alerted and you begin to feel things. Old thoughts and desires you thought long dead coming alive for the first time in years.
When you are with her minute’s turn into hours but feel like seconds until you shamefully realize it’s been days leaving you lost in a tornado of confusion. Responsibility tries to shake you out of her spell as you ask yourself what day it is, when you shaved last, when you showered last… In response, she slides back into your hands, whispers her sweet spell once again and lulls you back into the uncaring illusion of happiness. The blissful escapism overtakes you once again. The spell makes the world fade into the background of your relationship with her. She tells you everything is going to be ok as long as you don’t leave her. Don’t ever leave her. As long you have her all the pain and darkness can be kissed away with the simple sweet press of a button. The D-pad delivers the medicine whenever you want it, wherever you need it but every direction feels right.
Your eyes sting from starting unblinking for far longer than is healthy but you don’t care. Our ancestors learned to embrace the warm glow of a fire for comfort. The warm glow of the TV is no different. Columns to write? Messages to reply to? Appointments to attend? No, that isn’t for you now. You don’t need any of that. You have her now. She is all those things and nothing and everything you need and have been needing for years. Those weary eyes blur then focus as the calm sense of escape spreads over you along with the widening smile on your face. Her name is Zelda and she comes alive before you. You love her as much as you fear her grasp on your life.
She offers the kind of adventure you thought incapable in the modern world. She provides the untethered freedom to roam wherever you can see, to experience all that your heart desires. The vessel that you drive is of a small elf but he doesn’t matter. It’s not about him after all, he is but the means to the end. It’s about you, your lifetime of gaming desires and the enabler, the love that is Zelda.
She is a world that unlocks the keys to hundreds of thoughts and desires born over thousands of hours spent sitting on the floor in a small hot room lit only by the glow of the tiny box not far from where you rest. “I wonder if I can climb this…no.” “I wonder if I can go here…no.” “What would happen if I…nothing.” For over 30 years you’ve lived thousands of lives and too often been left disappointed after your relationship ended. Your escape was broken and scattered by the limitations of the media. After each disappointment, you took note and dreamt of the game where that barriers wouldn’t exist. When you could go anywhere, do anything. Where you could soar in the skies, climb every mountain and ride every horse to wherever you desired whenever you wanted to. When your play session would be just that, yours, unique to you and not the script you are being forced to follow. It makes her remarkable, addictive… In her glow time itself is transcended as the spaces between childhood, youth and adulthood give way to the ageless freedom of unfiltered imagination!
Suddenly you feel an old familiar pang of regret. This is one more of a thousand past moments with thousands more to comer over your gaming lifetime. Like all those that came before her and all those that will come after, her spell will fade until its but a memory no matter how alive she makes you feel. Her moment will last longer than most but eventually it will pass, they all pass…No! She is special and will always be!
The thought justifies your subconscious desires. This moment is one to embrace to the fullest before it fades! You decide to do just that. Right now is as intense and wonderful as it will ever be! Stop being critical and allow yourself to have fun. Fun. That tiny word lands in your consciousness like a childhood friend you barely remember but get the vague sense you regret not spending more time with. Fun always seems to get lost in the hustle of life. Like that scene in The Notebook Zelda keeps carrying you back down the path to something that used to come so natural. Don’t run from it. Embrace your relationship with Zelda, escape and have some fun.