Rick Lowe

My friends, roommates and classmates know me to be a fairly quiet individual. I’ll hide in my room and type or play the Sims, listen to some music. I’m a mellow, laid-back person to live with.

Except when games get involved. See, I’m competitive. I’m also determined to win. Losing cranks this determination up. Frequent losses enrage me, and “Rick maybe you should take a break” is met with “I’ll take a break when I beat this stupid game!” Of course, when you run up against people online who are A) ten times better than you or B) in some sort of God-mode because they’re bad at the game unless they’re invincible and able to fly, all you can really do is quit.

So one night during my junior year here, I was waiting for The Sims to finish saving (I swear, every new Sims game takes longer and longer to save and load) and I heard the guy in the apartment above me yelling at a game. Expletives were involved, which I shall replace with sugary food items: “You’ve gotta be Twixing me! What the Mounds! Stupid Butterfinger!”

I do love Butterfingers. Messy things, but so tasty.

It’s around midnight, so I think at that point I grabbed my PSP and put Dissidia in for a while, until I couldn’t look at the screen anymore. I look over at my clock. Almost 2 AM, I think. Mr. Upstairs is still going strong. “Kit-kat sucking Musketeers! I will Hershey your Almond Joy!”

This loudness went on until 4, I kid you not. 4 AM. Not lying to you here. How late other people stay up is their business. What they do is their business. But yelling in an apartment full of people at 4 AM is begging to have your door kicked in and your TV thrown out the window.

I would have knocked on his door, had I known which apartment he was in. It was too late at night for me to have composed myself though, and I think it was better that I didn’t, because with his fuming rage from losing to his game, and my volatile state from not being able to sleep when I wanted to…

I wonder if I should have, though. If I should have complained or something. Doesn’t it feel like tattling, though? When I was a kid, tattling was viewed as worse than bullying. It was a “take it if you can’t dish it out” scenario, or something like that. And I feel like, entering the adult world, it’s lame to get other people to solve your problems for you when you could be actively solving them yourself. By throwing TVs out of windows and watching the yelling owner’s expression break into as many pieces as their hardware.

Ok NO, I did not actually break the guy’s property. At most, I considered knocking on his door and telling him what a jerk he was being, and part of me wanted to do it at 6 in the morning just to spite him. I ended up not doing a thing about it, because as I laid there listening to him, I started to ask myself: “Is that what I sound like? Am I that annoying?” I know my family hated it. When I heard Mr. Upstairs doing it, I started to hate it myself.

Nowadays I try to keep my ranting calm and poisonous, rather than loud and belligerent. I try to hiss instead of roar. I like to lower my voice when I’m on the headset and spam clever, loquacious insults at the cheaters, then laugh my head off when they disconnect and I hear other people cheering. It’s happened, believe me. Still, it feels good to let off some steam every now and then.

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