I’m doing something amazing and spectacular (for me) today. For the first time in over a year I’m cleaning my bedroom. The fact that I’m doing this is a tremendous event. Two Christmases ago, a deeply religious Buddhist friend came to me on Christmas eve and cooked me a dinner. When he walked into my house, he looked around and said “I can tell just by what I see that your bedroom is toxic. You need to commit at least an hour a day cleaning it. Your bedroom should be a sacred place, safe and healthy for you.” I promised him that I would, but after a week or two I fell back into my old ways, and it hasn’t been cleaned since. Empty boxes, backpacks, plastic bags, containers of all sizes and shapes, receipts, pens, papers, notebooks, and other random things, all covered with a layer of dust mixed with dog hair, fibers, hair pins, and tie wraps fill my bedroom.
I wonder at this strange change in behavior that I’m exhibiting. Could a small thing like meditating be responsible for why I’m feeling the need to improve my state in life? Or is it my tai chi? Or maybe it’s something I heard last night, listening to my World of Warcraft guildies chatting with each other. One girl was talking to another, telling her that she’s upset because her boyfriend was arrested earlier in the day. He was carrying an unlicensed concealed weapon. Girl #1 explained that it was a “harmless” weapon, just meant for protection, and she couldn’t understand the insanity of such extreme measures as throwing him in jail for it. Girl #2 said that maybe he needs to stop hanging out in places where he needs to protect himself. Girl #1 said that it was impossible because he lives out of his car. They began having a conversation about their state in life, and Girl #2 admitted that in 3 years she hasn’t made a single friend. Girl #1 asked why. Girl #2 said because she lives in a small town and dropped out of high school and doesn’t drive, so all she does it play WoW and XBox all day long. Girl #2 admitted that she’s very shy, and just chatting in guild chat is a huge thing for her. She said there are few jobs in her small town and she’s not very motivated because next year she might move.
The things I learn about people in the world while playing online games never ceases to shock me. I’ve heard every manner of bizarre, sad, deeply depressing stories in my 20-odd years of gaming. I wonder where these girls’ parents are, what sort of life they’ve had, what sort of abuse they’ve suffered. Who takes care of them? Who *cares* about them? Where does their money come from? Admittedly a lot of things people say online are untrue. But I find that a person who would make something like this up is just as shocking as the story itself. A young person whose only knowledge of the world is World of Warcraft. They’re too young to have learned that this is not the real world. That’s so terribly tragic.
And possibly that’s why I’m cleaning my bedroom and backing up my external hard drive and thinking about finally stepping out of my house with my camera.