So I just remembered a dream I had last night.
In my dream, I was playing Pac Man - a game which has always caused me heart-stopping anxiety every time I’ve played it. (Someone out there please tell me I’m not the only one?) Why did I continue to play it over the years? Why do I still try every now and again? Same thing happens all the time: I can’t even finish one effing level, and it always ends with increased blood pressure, heart thudding against my chest, and tiny beads of sweat on my forehead and nose. Occasionally, I whimper, too - which I have been told is adorable, but I don’t buy it.
Note: I do not do this with ANY OTHER VIDEO GAME. Just Pac Man.
So, I’m playing Pac Man in my dream. Or, I guess, more specifically, Ms. Pac Man. The only real difference between the games that I really remember is some little 8-bit animations between games, and they swapped out the stupid orange ghost (Clyde) with a sexy purple one (Sue). But the same horrific feeling accompanies both.
I’m playing the game, and the mazes are no different from level to level. (I cannot remember if this was an actual characteristic of the original game.) The only difference is where Ms. Pac Man was placed at the beginning of every level. Sometimes, she’d be in the middle, underneath the little ghost box; sometimes, she’d start out in a corner; and sometimes, she’d start the level RIGHT BY THAT SHITTING RED GHOST, INKY.
Anyway, I’m playing the game and doing a reasonable job, despite grinding my teeth down to nubs and feeling like I might throw up. People (I don’t know who) were over my shoulder, telling me what to do and where to move and, basically, compounding my anxiety exponentially.
I’m playing away, eating the pellets and the Power-Pills and fruits and kicking ghostly ass when suddenly, the ghosts just start…beelining for me, going through the maze walls and coming to get me, while I’m forced to conform to the maze. Of course, this causes me to whimper uncontrollably, and I lose the game.
I am incredulous. I say to my bystanders, “Since when do the ghosts get to go through the walls??”
One of my bystanders says, “They’re ghosts, motherfucker. That’s what ghosts do.”
And another pipes up, “Yeah, shortest distance between two points is a straight line.”
So, what say you all? Any notions as to what is going on in my addled little noodle?