Dwarf Fortress has changed my life. Let me tell you how.
I was in my basement, as always, of course. Blinds down, day and night hold no meaning in my secure abode, Dwarf Fortress playing on my PC. No worries. My mother brings me food sometimes. Other times she forces me to get out and get my own food. But only sometimes. Time stands still in my basement. There is a sense of agelessness when you're in it, a serene tranquility of entropy slowing down and ceasing. As if there was this moment and it was captured to be encapsulated forever. In my basement, there is nothing. There is no fear. There is no sorrow. There is no joy, either, but such is life.
I was in my basement when my mother barged in. Kind soul, bless her. But she is overbearing. She was nagging me again. About my life. Who cares? So what if I'm 28 and I live in a basement and I wasted my bachelor's and I gained 70 pounds in seven months? She doesn't understand. I'm living my life. This is my life. This basement. Dwarf Fortress. This is my life and she can't stop me.
But she did. I was in my basement and she forced me to get out and do something with my life. It's a beautiful day, she told me. I don't even know what day means anymore. Begrudgingly, I took my cape, my fedora (the one with the feather in it, of course. I'm not stupid.), and my laptop, and I went out. I went to the park. Sometimes I go to the park. At least, I used to, back then. But then I stopped.
I opened my laptop and began playing my fort. I was getting ready to prime up my magma cannon. It's connected to a series of levers so that it's all automated. Goblins come in, magma comes in, nothing comes out. Clean. Efficient. The way my life should be.
Day is weird. It's hot and it's too bright and the glare is killing me and I'm sweating, but the summer breeze makes me feel fine. 6/10. I sit on the bench, and nobody bothers me, and it's a tranquil space. Just like my basement. I remember why I used to come here before. This place is nice. With or without the children. I'm chill. I'm relaxed. I'm all cool.
Then people. Females. Are females people? I don't remember. I pretend to ignore them, but they swarm to me, like a flock of bees. Or seagulls. Like a flock of seagulls. They swarm at me and one of them, their ringleader, with her flowing auburn hair and her hazel eyes and her shapely body and her Vampire Weekend t-shirt and her capris and flipflops, in her shrill female voice asks me, "Mister, what are you playing?" and she smiles at me and I don't look at her. This is a test. Mother, you test me. I struggle not to make eye contact. My dwarves need me. But I can feel them. I can feel her. They're stabbing knives in my neckbeard. No. No. This can't be happening.
Without looking at them, I told them, barely murmuring, that I was playing Dwarf Fortress. She asked me again, as if she didn't hear me. Bitch. You heard me. But I obliged. Big mistake. I looked at her and shouted Dwarf Fortress, my lass! Dwarf Fortress!
Stunned. She's stunned. I look at her again. Her shoulder length hair, parted in the middle, twitches as the gust of wind blows eastward towards the glorious land of Nippon. Some hair in her face, covering her hazel eyes. Her mouth was agape. I can see the tears swelling. She's tensing up. Suddenly screaming. Screaming. Is it mine? Is it hers? Ours? I don't know. I curl up and the screaming only grows louder. I black out when I woke up, I was back in my basement, my mother nursing my wounds. Kind soul, my mother. Bless her.
The next day, she told me to pack my belongings. She could no longer bear to have me live in the basement, she tells me. She's kicking me out. How dare her? Kick out her own son? Her only son. She tells me to go live with her brother and his wife, far in the West Coast. After much protest, I realized that this must what must be, and I relented. I went outside and I whistled for a cab and when it came near, the license plate said "Fresh" and it had dice in the mirror. If anything I could say that this cab was rare , but I thought man forget it yo homes to Bel-Air. I pulled up to the house about 7 or 8, and I yelled to the cabbie "yo homes smell ya later". Looked at my kingdom and I was finally there. To sit on my throne. As the Prince.
The Prince of Bel-Air.