Ding!

wow

  The silence that fills the room so comfortably is permeated only by the intermittent click of a mouse or a rattle of keys. A soft buzz can be heard coming from Her headphones, but it has become background noise, has transformed into silence itself. I lay on my back across the bed, my legs against the wall at a forty-five degree angle,  a trade-paperback collection of my favourite comic in my hand above my head. I smile often but never laugh out loud. Behind the monochrome images I notice the ceiling turning a warm orange with the encroaching evening. Lindsay is behind me, focusing intently on the screen in front of Her, the little figures inside of it clashing with one another colourfully. Soundlessly.
  “Lindsay,” I say without taking my eyes off the strip in front of me, but to no avail. She is lost, deep in Azeroth with no intention of climbing out. I wait for an inordinate amount of time before registering the lack of response and finally rolling onto my stomach, closing the book on my finger and looking at Her. She is in the swivel chair, Her bare legs up against the desk. Her arms at either side – one hand on the number-keys and the other on the mouse, dutifully healing Her party – Appropriate, I can’t help but think. Her little pink toes are hanging off the edge of the chair, scrunching up and stretching sporadically. Her denim shorts are frayed at the edges – She’d cut them herself from an old pair of jeans – and during downtime She absently pulls at the strings, slowly but surely unravelling Her attire. I understand now why every time I see Her in them they seem shorter.
   I watch Her for a while. Her experience bar is slowly creeping towards it’s goal at the bottom of the screen, +2985 flashing above Her avatar’s head every time a monster is felled by Her team. I rise to go to the kitchen and refill my glass, revelling in the cool winter air I find in there.  My forehead dries quickly as I drink, the ice-cold Rubicon searing my insides with the dichotomy as it makes its way through them.
  I return to find Her swivelling in the chair, fists pumped in the air, triumphant. Her headphones are abandoned on the desk, the tinny music still seeping out of them. When I enter She jumps to her feet to address me.
  “I dinged!” She exclaims, “I hit level eighty!”

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~ by Joseph Blame on July 27, 2010.

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