VOICES IN THE DARK

The days blur together.

Projects. Work. Faces. Numbers. Art. Words. Memories. Emotions.

Questions.

Sleep.

Then, a new day dawns.

I try to see as many sunrises as I can. If I’ve stayed up late into the night, then it’s certainly a battle to rouse myself.

But it’s always worth it.

It’s worth it to see the sun rise up over the horizon, and eventually, to feel it touch my face.

If I’m perfectly still, then I can feel it begin to slowly warm my cheeks and brows.

Can you put a price on that?

Can you compare that to an hour of sleep?

Some nights, when I dream, I’m confronted by shadowy, incomplete faces who I struggle to recognize, and who speak words I can’t easily place. Sometimes, despite not being able see certain facial features, recognition will dawn, and I’ll put a name to the face, only to realize the words they’re speaking were said by someone else entirely.

It’s all very… disjointed.

Sometimes there are no faces, and it’s just words and phrases swirling around me in the darkness. Some of them I recall, some I don’t recognize, and some seem vaguely familiar, like they might be thoughts I myself have had at some point.

After a few such dreams, I made a list.

“Where are you?”

“They’d have beautiful eyes, that’s for sure.”

“Something went wrong.”

“It is what it is.”

“You’re more attractive than him.”

“Of course I do.”

And lastly, the most repeated:

“There’s something you don’t know.”

Most of my dreams have always had a narrative, and an overarching theme, but not these. Not these… voices in the dark.

Some evenings I’ll fire up my PS4 and play a few strikes in Destiny 2. The odds are always stacked against you, and you never know what variety of teammates you’ll be dealt, which is half the challenge.

When the Iron Banner roles around, I’ll often play it most of Sunday. I’ve played the series enough to see a lot of different gameplay mechanisms employed, revised, dismantled, and re-introduced.

Cycles, basically.

But for me, it’s much more of an inner progression.

People who enjoy the game can (trust me) talk for hours on end about their opinions on “god rolls”, and game design decisions that they believe have impacted the game for good or bad.

As I said, for me, it’s much more of an inner progression.

Bungie makes such a determined attempt to level the playing field by tweaking firing rates, stability, handling, and a dozen other factors. For every advantage, there’s a trade-off in some other area.

So, when people start to monologue about the game, my question is always the same.

“What’s made you play better recently?”

And that, usually, stops them in their tracks.

They pause, their eyes flicker up to the ceiling, and they seem to really consider the question.

That’s what it’s all about, right? Shooting and finding stuff you’re good with? Some weapons and armor just resonate with you, and that really underpins the whole experience. Everyone is different, and everyone fights differently. When you find a formula that works for you, and works well, it’s mildly addicting.

People get very fixated on DPS, exploits, and other ways to prise advantage from dumb, hard numbers.

It’s not my approach.

I used to love revolvers, but it’s… complicated now. These days I tend to use a sidearm, paired with a shotgun, which is a brutal combination when you really know yourself.

One of the multiplayer levels takes place in the “Dreaming City”, which is basically a series a ivory-looking rooms and towers. There’s plenty of cover, and fewer opportunities for those who prefer long distance fights.

I ran out of ammo, once. Completely. I was defending an objective, alone.

I killed, and I killed, and I killed.

Eleven kills. Eventually I was just punching and jetting around, having the time of my life. They brought me down, eventually, but golly… what a match. My teammates were at other objectives, and had… at least forty to fifty seconds of relative calm.

Fuck it was fun.

Close quarters fighting is exhilarating.

Today’s art is of a female from GREEN KNIGHT, a witch, to be precise. The last two days I’ve posted concept art of burly, bearded old farts, and needed to mix it up.

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