Stupid Game

I used to play a video game online to unwind.

Invested time. Got okay at it.

One afternoon I landed in a match with cheaters.

They had a mod to weaken me. If they shot me once I’d die.

I’d re-spawn across the map.

But they were there waiting.

Two seconds later my avatar lay twitching again.

Over and over. Like twenty times in a row. I couldn’t do anything.

I should have left the game and gone for a walk.

But it was winter.

I stayed in the rigged contest and kept trying.

I was almost crying by the time it ended.

The stats appeared. Quantified humiliation.

Nobody but me and the modders knew what’d happened.

The other players just thought I sucked. Laughter sogged my headphones.

I spiked the controller on the carpet.

Stomped it until its shell splintered and wiry guts fell out.

Felt ashamed. Hated myself.

Never played that stupid game again.