Do you know that moment when your eyes accidentally meet those of a stranger’s across a sea of plastic mushroom-like circular tables in a fast-food restaurant and you straightaway know that they hate and despise your guts with a passion and would like to kill you if they could get away with it? Well I get that a lot. I get it wherever I go. It’s getting so that I don’t even find it strange any more. I just think ‘OK so here we go again’. I’m not trying to say that it doesn’t bother me because it does. It bothers me a lot. It’s just that it doesn’t seem so weird any more. It doesn’t seem as uncanny to me as it used to. It’s just part of my life, part of my daily experience…
Do you know that moment, that near-telepathic flash of instantaneous recognition when you meet a stranger’s eyes across the crowded space of a fast-food restaurant and you have this uncanny feeling that they know everything about you? They know everything from just from that one look? And they hate you. They hate and despise you beyond measure because they know you, because they know what you stand for. Or rather it’s not that they know what you stand for but rather that they know what you did. They know what you did, but YOU don’t know what that is. You’re in the dark. You haven’t a clue but you know it must be bad because of the reaction. You know that it must be bad because of the universal reaction of implacable hate. So your mind is going crazy wondering what it is. You know that one, right?
I was a noob again. I had to go back to noob camp and do all the noob things. I had to start all over again doing all that real basic noob-type stuff again. Working your way up again – bit by painstaking bit. Step by step and the steps are so slow and arduous. I’d fucked up somewhere along the line and so now I had been spawned in the spawning grounds again and there was nothing ahead of me but doing all that noob-stuff with all the other noobs and that’s the most basic stuff imaginable. There’s no kudos there and that’s a fact. It’s OK for them because they really are noobs, they’re noobs with no experience other than being noobs and not even very much of that but when you’ve been a level 90 being a noob all over again is a very hard thing to face into. When you slowly and groggily come to in the spawning grounds and you gather your wits together just enough to realize where you are and what has happened to you, that’s just unbearable. It’s a very bad moment.
I was undergoing the ego-death. The one you read about in the manual. I knew it beyond any doubt – I could recognize the signs. My ego was sending me all these pathetic ‘wounded-ego’-type messages. Dying messages, really. Failure messages. Utter humiliation messages coupled with a sick sense of how there is no point in trying to do anything about it because you totally deserve all the shit that has come your way. You deserve it all. Because every single cell in your body is a loser-cell, every single molecule in every single cell a loser-molecule. Even the atoms making you up are loser-atoms. All of them. You just have to suck it up, endure the unbearable ignominy of it. That’s a contradiction in terms, isn’t it? You have to endure the unbearable. And yet you do. You submit to it. It’s as if you can feel the whole world’s scorn and that hurts so bad – there’s no one on your side, not anywhere. Everyone is laughing at you because they know you’re such a loser. Your ego’s going belly-up. Like a fish in a fish-tank that’s not doing so well. Some kind of delicate fish that’s got a very bad case of fin-rot. Swimming around in weak circles on the surface. Belly up. Getting progressively weaker. Prognosis not good. You know the way things are going and they’re only going the one way.