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A Tale of Car Crashes and Dragon Age II


I feel like I've been lost in a void...

...And it's been that way for a while. Since my first year in high school life felt liking walking through a fog. And as the years went by, that feeling only became something I was more comfortable with. But rather than use that familiarity to my advantage, to stand up and change things, I fell into complacency. 

I always figured that being in a horrific accident might have some extreme, lingering effects. In a way, I was hoping for some big change, that something awful would happen. Maybe it would alter my path. Deep down I was really begging for it. Sickly begging for it.

And then it happened.

I carelessly biked across a four lane road late at night, being struck by a taxi going 45 MPH. I flipped onto the car, smashing the windshield, then bounced over the top and into a busy intersection. Thankfully, no one crossed after seeing the crash. And thankfully, I was only a mile away from the city's largest hospital.

The injuries were fierce, but recoverable. I broke: two bones in my right arm, my left arm through the shoulder, and the anterior and posterior of my pelvis. In addition to heavy internal bruising, I also cut my face across the eye (the skin, not the eye itself), and my ankle (a bike pedal was lodged into my leg). 

I awoke, less than 5 minutes after the crash, laying in the street. Broken. 


I've always fancied myself as "different". I think it was something I wore as pride to keep social rejection in check. So, as they wheeled me through the emergecy room, my mother by my side, I thought it was especially cool to be light and comical about the matter. I thought it might even make her feel better. I learned later that most people who go through similar events are comical as well. Delusions brought on by shock. 

Within the hour, a police officer questioned me about whose fault the crash was. I gave him an answer that ranged between stuttering and yelling. Delusions brought on by shock. He understood.

My answer was an admission of guilt, and he handed my a fine for $50. J-biking. Though, it wasn't without an admission of guilt from his as well, as he brought Marvel's The Avengers on a wheeled TV, then stayed while a nurse stuck needles in my eye socket. I admit the thought was nice, but I wasn't exactly able to SEE what was happening. Ha ha. See? You get it?

Then everything became a blur. I wasn't allowed to sleep for quite some time, but I might as well of been asleep given my ability to function. 

....And so the morning came. Or at least, what was morning to me. 

The event had come. Now what did I learn? Was I changed?  The era of complacency over? 

Not exaclty. I spent the next 3 months wheeling around in a chair, being bitter towards my parents, trying to twist an old flame into being mine through guilt, and half-assedly drifting through my senior year of high school. I was a dick on wheels. 

I never had to question why I was so angry. I was bitter and furious that this event had given me nothing. Things were the same. I was told I would make a full recovery, and everything would return to normal. In addition, none of my guilt tripping had gotten me anywhere. An ex drifting away, college still waiting to be applied for, a difficult parental relationship still waiting. 

A year passed.

If anything changed, it would have been that my complacency was now lined with cynicism. I had waited until the last minute and applied to a local college, ambitions squandered in the face of the void.

I lived in the dorms with a high school friend that was slowly, but surely, disassociating with me. I still don't know if this was my fault. It makes me sad. We went from talking and laughing, to barely speaking, even when necessary.

My grades dropped and I didn't bother going to classes that didn't feed my interests.

I avoided work when I could, but managed some small tasks around campus for cash I needed for... things. I'd had some drug problems since leaving home, but would really prefer to avoid talking in detail about that, given some of the shame I felt.

I felt like I was transformed into the sterotype of the angsty teen, hating the world.

And what do angsty teens do best, but practice escapism?


I dove into popular culture, consuming as much information as I could. My confidence had taken a real hit, preventing me from playing and watching as much as simply reading about. I could make it though the entirety of games and movies, but it took effort. 

I slowly worked my way up, watching a movie or playing a game and actually finishing them. It felt good, better than anything in a while. So I kept at it, increasing my rate of consumption more and more until I was going through at least a game a week. 

And weirdly enough, the world started to seem a little brighter. Although my bitterness had a long way to go, I started forcing responsibilities on myself, making sure I finished at the very least, something.

It was during this time that I had been playing through Dragon Age: Origins. This was especially difficult, given I had yet to finish an RPG since Shin Megami Tensei 4, the previous year. And especially daunting given the massive size of Origins. So, I played away.

I was still a mess, and Origins length began to irritate me to no end. I wanted to finish it so badly that I rushed through it, and without realizing became a dick in game as well. My impaitence led me to take easy outs, like slaughtering my character's tribe to progress more quickly. I ended the game playing on easy mode. I wasn't proud.

In the next few days I plowed through the game's expansion Awakening, playing 10 hours of it on a Friday evening. I still didn't feel satisfied, I felt like I hadn't finished anything!

The next day I got up early and commited myself to finishing Dragon Age II. I wanted to prove to myself I could put my mind to something and finish it. 

As the game progressed, I realized I wasn't enjoying it. But, It wasn't about enjoyment anymore. I had to switch to easy mode 2/3rds of the way in, and began to avoid any sort of optional content. I wanted to be done. 

20 hours passed, and at the end, I couldn't finish. My characters simply weren't strong enough. 

I sat there at my desk wondering how much had gone by since I had began obsessing over, well, everything. I couldn't remeber the last time I spoke to m roomate. Really spoke to him. He'd been gone every weekend, and most weeknights. 

I broke down and cried. 

In a sick twist of irony, I had rushed through my life, literally into oncoming traffic, and learned nothing. And here I was, more than a year later, rushing through a virtual life that required little effort, making the same mistakes. What a strange world.

That was the beginning of last month. It affected me a lot, making me realize I had a lot of problems that needed fixing.

I quit my drug habit, and did my best to fix up my grades. I'm also applying to internships and schools I think are a better fit. I'm working on making things better with my parents and friends as well. Although, to be honest, the latter is still fairly messy.

I even went back to an old save to really finish Dragon Age II. It was... alright.

For a long time no matter what I did or "accomplished", it didn't matter. I was way too hard on myself and others. But I feel really good. And that's something I haven't felt in years. I'm going to try my best to keep it up, to not fall back into the void. And even though it's only been a short time, I trust myself.

So thanks Dragon Age II, for making me realize things about myself I might not of otherwise...

...even if you do kind of suck. 

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About Cannibal Stevenone of us since 2:53 PM on 10.03.2014


That's my catch phrase. I called it.

I'm a university student studying film and animation.

I've often been called a narcissist, but I don't think it's true as much that I'm just quite loud.

My favorite word is "nourishment". Listen to it roll of the tongue. Nourishment.

Like sex with a Burmese python.

Things I like: