The possibilities that the virtual world offers us draw us back to it. The option to be and do what you want, a person different from the piece of shit you are in real life. No watching your mouth or behaving like a good person, you can simply be what you’ve always wanted to be.
For example, you wake up in the morning and decide that this will be a good day. You take a shower, wear your suit, and go downstairs to have breakfast. You have a smile on your face when you see your wife, but she doesn’t return it. Instead, she starts yelling at you.
“You said you paid the bill, Jimmy,” she says, taking a drag on the cigarette with one hand and holding the phone in the other. She has dark circles under her eyes and her cleavage exposes her flaccid breasts. “So could you to explain to me why the fuck the electric company keeps texting and saying that the fucking payment wasn’t made? Your son will be here tomorrow and you aren’t even capable of helping to arrange everything!”
You sigh, sit on the counter and bring your fingers up to your temples. The smile on your face has already dissipated like smoke.
“Honey, I made the payment yesterday.” That’s your kindest voice possible. “I told you that, remember? I paid while you were at the mall.”
She puts her phone on the table and brings her face close to yours, the unmistakable whiskey breath. You fucked her last night while she was getting blind drunk, but even that doesn’t seem to be enough for her to calm down.
“You paid my ass, you fucking liar!”
Her saliva flies against your face.
“And you know how I know that, eh?”
“I asked if you know how I know that, damn it!”
You sigh, look at your hands and try to count to three … but she interrupts.
“I know that because of the history, Jimmy. The fucking history!” Laura points to the phone. “You’re such a stupid asshole that you don’t even clean the fucking history. And you know what that shit told me? It told me that you spent all day playing your fucking stupid game. You spent the whole fucking day sitting on my couch playing on my television with my internet. Because, yes, you earn so small that it’s me who needs to pay all the shit her. And you know what you do with my fucking money, you retard? You waste it on your online game with things that are not even real. Your life is so stupid and pathetic that you need to spend all your time on this shit that is nothing more than fantasy for losers and—”
You throw the phone on the wall, get up with a punch on the counter and stare at her closely. She opens her eyes, retreats, and for a moment, all you want is to jump over the counter and hang her. You wanna knock her down and squeeze your wife’s neck until her face turns purple and her body struggles to death.
But you can’t do this because this is real life. Doing this here would cause problems with the authorities and ruin you forever. Then you would go to prison and spend lovely days picking up fallen soaps for the other inmates.
You snort, turn your back to your wife and start walking out while she breaks things through the kitchen and screams about how much you’re just useless shit. This is your family life, after all. A wife who fucks as badly as a cheap prostitute, a son who never talks to you and prefers to spend time with his mother, besides having to pay all the crap that the advertising said would make you happy — even though you never use half of them.
Then you take your wife’s car and go to work, where you will spend eight hours doing the same shit you always do. The car stalls in the street and you look at the clock. Shit, you’re late. You call the mechanic to get your car and run to the subway, but not before kicking the old car and scratching the shoes that cost a fortune.
You get at work late anyway, no matter how you ran to reach the subway and squeezed into the middle of other people the whole way. Your boss doesn’t even hear your apologies. He yells at you, catching everyone’s attention, and tells you to sit your useless ass and do your job.
The clock goes slowly and the calls seem to be endless. When did people buy so many things that they can’t even pay for them now? Well, they don’t give a damn about it. All they do is turn off the phone or put out their entire repertoire of offenses. They curse you, they curse your wife and say they did things to your mother that even you never dreamed of doing with your wife.
Your head hurts.
The ring of the phones will blow your brain and make a wonderful piece of art on the table with your blood.
Your just calm down when it’s time to go back to home. Now it’s okay because you can go into Total Life, select your avatar and live life for real.
You are fine.
I am fine.
Laura’s in the bedroom when I get home. She speaks on the phone in a muffled voice. She probably spent all day drinking and smoking. That’s all Laura does when she’s not working.
Funny how work is usually what stresses people, but it’s precisely what makes Laura feel good.
I hear a few sentences as I keep my keys in the kitchen and walk into the living room, my breath getting louder with every word.
I’m telling you, Alice, that pussy isn’t even capable of fucking like a man! What? Pleasure? I don’t even know what that shit means anymore. Jimmy hasn’t really made me cum since … damn it, since we moved together.
I sit on the couch and turn on the television.
You wouldn’t believe me if I told you the things he made me do in bed. The bastard makes me dress like his mother and pretend he’s a kid.
I select the “Total Life” icon.
I mean, what the fuck is that? I know you and Billy do more interesting shit than that. No, Alice, listen to me … Listen to me, damn it! Any couple does more interesting things. Jimmy doesn’t even have sex with the open window. Maybe he’s afraid that someone will see that little, wrinkled dick.
The TV screen turns black and then a message comes up asking me to put my virtual reality glasses and the electrode cables. I put the electrodes first and they glow blue as soon as I touch them. Then I put on my glasses.
You know, sometimes all I want to do is get out of this shit. I’m tired of working hard and being the man of this house. I can’t even buy the things I want because of the expenses Jimmy can’t afford. And you think he does something to improve? My ass he does. He just sits on that couch with those fucking glasses on his head and pretend that life is not as mediocre as it really is. And you know what? I think I’ll call—
I sigh as the game loads and the world fades. My body seems not to be part of me and all that remains is my consciousness connecting to the server. There’s no longer Laura, bosses ready to yell at you or customers ready to offend you. In Total Life everything is different. If you are a player good enough to complete the main missions, then the world is yours, my friend. There will be no cops you can’t bribe, women who don’t want to spread their legs for you or jerks who will not do some dirty work.
The menu opens and my characters are displayed in rows, smiling or serious. It all depends on the personality of each one and their personal life.
I’m a prostitute who bites client members during oral sex.
I am a police officer who’s in charge of only narcotics and women who live on the edge of the law. I smell the cocaine I get in the asshole of those same women. I fuck them with their hands cuffed in the hood of my car, watching them shout desperate.
I’m a rock star who goes on stage and pisses on the public who adores me.
I’m a famous model who fucks whoever else brings me status.
I’m April, Harry and Mike. I’m also Caroline, Isis and Ian. I’m everything but James Gibson.
But today, all I want is to be the good old Stephen Pitman, my first character in Total Life. I’ve done all of Steve’s main missions for almost a year, in addition to reaching Lv 100 and becoming a Master Player. Of course, reaching that level was laborious, in case you’re wondering. Steve’s missions always forced me to spend hours doing his crappy desires like “helping kids with homework” and “preparing a romantic dinner for Jackie.”
Now, though, comes the funny thing about it. In Total Life, you don’t necessarily have to compete these missions as a good citizen. You can … have fun. All you have to do next, if you’re not a Master Player, is to pay a small tax for things to go back in order in the character’s life.
If my real body wasn’t blocked, I’d probably be laughing now. I’d start laughing after selecting Steve and seeing him punching his hands, causing the black-body muscles to contract. He looks with a serious expression and then snorts.
My dear Steve has gone through a feel troubles. When he wished to help his children with their homework, I forced him to beat them to death. When he wished to prepare a romantic dinner for his wife, I forced him to become a cannibal and prepare her for dinner. And when he wished to commit suicide, I forced him to cut his own penis. So then I simply paid the fucking tax, reset the events, and completed the missions. Sometimes I would give myself some small pleasures, such as forcing him to have sex with animals, but always finding a way back to complete the main quests.
And that’s how I became a Master Player. Today I can do whatever I want and there’s no tax. I just restored events like the death of Steve’s family, just to keep the thing fun. Steve is my puppet and all I want to do is to feel alive.
I get up from the moldy mattress and my mind boggles because of the first person camera. I spent the night in jail after beating the members of a punk band at a nightclub in the suburbs. I punched each one until their faces became unrecognizable and blood covered the stage. I broke the instruments, spat in the audience and said that this was how a real show was performed.
I send a mental command and the menu pops up in front of me. I select Cheats, then Cops and finally Bribe. The screen dims briefly and then a cutscene appears in which I talk to two policemen in the bathroom. They both laugh and accept my offer while patting my shoulder. The screen dims again and then I’m out of jail.
Some people walk down the street with the same monotony of real life. Around here, there are people who, for some reason, like to live as if they were in the outside world. They don’t seem to understand that the fun here is not to stay forever completing missions, but only what is necessary for you to fulfill your desires. Things that morale and ethics don’t allow you to do in real life.
Other people, however, understand this very well.
Some players rush down from a van, carrying rifles in their hands. They give orders to each other quickly, getting into position to enter the bank. I watch the van door closes and the men prepare their weapons for action.
No one else is calm now.
People shout down the street, take phones out of their pockets, and glance in fascination at the bank while blood covers the glass walls. This couldn’t be a more accurate picture of reality. The shots echo and a woman manages to escape crawling through the door, until she is shot in the head. The player looks at me, points the gun and, for a moment, I’m sure he will shoot. For a moment, I forget that this is a game and my stomach freezes.
But the player puts the gun down and goes back inside. He must have realized that I’m a Master Player because of the little golden arrow above my head.
I don’t want to be here, let alone Steve. My wish bar says Steve wants to visit his old house. I no longer have the obligation to fulfill his wishes, but maybe going there is a good idea. Steve had an attractive neighbor and having sex with her is surely be more enjoyable than having sex with Laura. Having sex with anything is more enjoyable than having sex with Laura.
The map opens and I select Steve’s old house as a Quick Journey.
First you’re in a police station and then right after you’re seeing a carnage in a bank. Then, moments later, you’re back in your old neighborhood, walking toward your old neighbor’s house. She walks out the door wearing a gym outfit and you watch the curves of her body. You invite her to go to your old house and she agrees.
It will be good to remember the old days.
Your old house is exactly as you left it. The same TV that got stained with blood when you cut your son off. The same table where you once served your wife’s body. The same ladder where you hanged your daughter. Everything is there, from the bathroom you used to wipe the blood from your body to the bed where you fucked your neighbor.
So you’re back in this bed and your neighbor celebrates the old days riding on you. She moans like Laura would never moan as the sexual excrement mingle in her pubic hair. She scratches yout chest and screams your name, sending shock waves all over your body. You grab her big, soft breasts, pinching her stiff nipples. She screams, you raise her up on your lap and now you’re both seated. You watch your penis come out of her vagina, erect, red and pulsing. You penetrate her again, thrusting your face into her breasts. She grabs your shoulder, runs her hand over yout head, and ties her legs around your waist. You’re trapped, you couldn’t stop even if you wanted to. Then you both moan when you reach orgasm and she throws her head back. The excrements gush out in abundance and it’s all over.
She falls to the side, panting.
You should stay here forever. You should never go back to Laura and her pathetic sex. You have everything in this world. You can do what you want. You are someone you would never be in real life. All that matters is that you feel complete. You feel alive in a way you’ve never felt before.
You are all that the real James Gibson dreams of being.
The screen dims for a moment and I no longer see my neighbor. A black screen covers my vision until it’s replaced by a flash. Then the images come back quickly as photos out of focus. The woman with whom I had sex has her eyes glazed on the ceiling without any sign of life. Blood spreads across her naked body and vomit slips from the corner of her mouth.
I try to open the menu, but I no longer have control over the game. The camera is now focused on the dining room. The perspective shifted to the third person and Steve watches his family photos. He touches his daughter’s portrait, bites his lips, and a thin drop of blood runs down his chin. He remembers what he did, he must be blaming himself. He’s blaming himself and that’s all … right?
Steve turns slowly to the camera and stares at me.
A buzz comes in through my ears and the connection is lost.
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