I am presented with a logic problem:
There is a middle aged man. He is roughly 5’9″ and 139 pounds. He has salt and pepper hair that is neatly parted to his left. He is also carrying an M21 sniper rifle, and has the sights trained on me. The solution to this problem is a way to avoid being shot.
I’m in the middle of an empty San Francisco street, or at least I think so, what with the massive incline and all. The door to every storefront is locked, so going into a nearby building is out of the question. It appears that my only method of escape is to run towards a nearby overpass, which also leaves a few miles of open space between me and a bullet. Regardless of the danger, I take off running.
I get shot.
Thankfully, this is only a computer simulation, and I’m free to retry after every failure. This is a feature I use and abuse time and time again. Sometimes I warp back to the middle of the road too quickly, and get to watch my previous body slump to the ground like a useless sack. Before I quit in frustration, I figure out the solution: the sniper can’t fire directly underneath him. By pressing myself against the wall of the building he’s holed up in, I can sneak up on him and disarm him/kill him. To help me with this, I am given the choice of selecting nine different personas, each with their own weapon and methods of attack. Unfortunately for me, the power is cut off before I can finish the game.
Taking a break, I decide to go out. I live over by the docks, watching both the derelicts and hard-working men make their money the hard way. Some load and unload boxes into warehouses. Some have delis in the area. Some grift. Some have found themselves in the unenviable position of being a pimp to their own sister or girlfriend. I hate these people. When I walk through this district, I make sure to keep my head down and my hand close to the gun I keep in my jacket pocket for “special situations.” I ignore the desperate prostitutes and pushy drug dealers as best I can. This is a normal day in the neighborhood for me. I don’t have a normal day job like most people. My job involves [PASSAGE REMOVED], which can get you killed if the wrong people find out. So I spend my days people watching, only with a sizable amount of contempt. Then I hear a voice that tells me that today will not be a normal day.
I look up and see a woman I haven’t seen in years. Her pale skin, bright orange shirt and even brighter beaming smile contrast with her raven colored hair and thick rimmed glasses. I remembered that I was madly in love with her at one point. But now, with me being [PASSAGE REMOVED] who’s too busy [PASSAGE REMOVED] to live a normal life, she feels like a long lost memory from a previous lifetime. I try my best, but I have no connection with this woman anymore. Our conversation is strained, mostly on my part. Lots of “hmms” and “ah yeahs” in lieu of any real conversation. She goes back to her job at the local deli (she makes sandwiches now), leaving me to instantly regret not talking to her the way I should have.
Oh well, I think to myself, and continue walking down a literal adaptation of Purgatory.