Suggested soundtrack: “Batter Up” the Night In The Woods OST
I didn’t grow up in a small mining town where dreams go to die. I grew up in a big city where my dreams were dead long before I was born. That isn’t to say that one of these is better or worse; it’s mostly just that dreams are destined not to live.
The first time I played Night in the Woods, I cried multiple times throughout the game. One day, Mae just woke up, saw fuzzy shapes, and nothing made sense ever again. The world was aimless, so why shouldn’t she be the same? The world was full of well-seeming forms puttering about their days, ultimately achieving nothing. What is existence if you aren’t excited about breathing?
It’s 2021 and breathing can kill you. It’s 2021 and nowhere is affordable. It’s 2021 and I’m staring at a small vinyl figure of Mae Borowski on my desk having existential dread blotted out by thoughts of Nightmare Eyes. It’s a peaceful way to lie to yourself.
How do I make the shapes into something meaningful? Are they meaningful even if they don’t come into focus? Should it matter whether or not they have meaning at all? There’s too many questions with irrelevant answers. There’s too many people screaming about change and how it’s upsetting their status quo. And all I want to do is take a bat to something.
Not to beat up something beautiful, but to bring something to the brink of destruction. Whether that be a car, the bat, or even myself, I need to feel my feet off the edge. I want to see blood on my hands and twisted metal in my mental rear view mirror. And then I want to get a croissant sandwich and iced latte.
Usually Save Points is a little less drab and I’m usually a little less dissociated. But sometimes, spending the night with your companions by the fire is not a raucous experience filled with funny stories and bonding moments. Sometimes, it’s a silent tomb where each set of eyes is lost in the orange and the heat. Sometimes it’s just a group of people eating s’mores together in silence.
Eat some s’mores with me? Pick up a bat with me. Dismantle patriarchal capitalist society with me. Cry about Attack on Titan piano covers with me. Sit in silence with someone and just be. Try not to let the thought of fuzzy shapes and meaning distract you from right now.
Believe in a universe that doesn’t care, but people who do. With that (and a little group of miscreants called friends), the fuzz might fade or it could grow. But perhaps instead, you’ll remove your face from the camera eyepiece and realize you weren’t really looking at life with your own two eyes.
The end of everything is just a Tuesday after all.
Juliet Childers graduated from University of Houston and writes for a number of outlets including TheGamer and Edgy.app. After a long hiatus from poetry, she is breaking back into the industry with renewed fervor and unflinching identity. She loves video games, South Korean dog Instagrams, and the occasional Dr. Pepper.