A day in the life: Warrior for a day

My head rises from my pillow through a fog at 3 p.m. The sun was glaring through the window, bouncing off the bare white walls covered only by a lonely Led Zeppelin poster. My alarm has been echoing off the thin walls for hours. I wanted to wake up six hours earlier. It didn’t matter, I had no class. Even if I had class I wouldn’t care if I missed it. I pulled my wireless keyboard and mouse from their precarious spot on the window-ledge and onto my bed. Then I logged onto my computer perched above my head to connect with the world.

I stared up at the too-big screen of my IMac as hockey news scrolled past. My brain barely processed what I read, but I wasn’t going to get out of bed until I was too hungry to read. I waited another hour to throw on my brown leather boots and a nice blue flannel. I meander across the hall to my friends’ apartment where I basically live. I have become their 5th roommate. I usually only go to my own room in order to sleep from the early morning into the afternoon.

I grabbed some chips, opened the refrigerator and got a glass of water. My stomach was rumbling, but I had an hour before my friends came back to grab dinner at the cafeteria. I turned on the Xbox.

My dragon-skinned boots are hammering across the frozen tundra. With my steel axe as tall as a man I race head-long towards the blood-red dragon, its scales rippling with dense muscle and heat. The great axe is a blur of gleaming silver aimed at the giant wing, but I miss. The beasts are quick despite their great size. A claw the size of an ox flashes past my head as I spin away and bury my axe into its shoulder.

I took a sip of water and grabbed a handful of chips from the bag.

I barely have time to dodge the foot-long teeth as the dragon strikes. It catches me in the side but I barely feel it. My armor is made from the skin of its fallen brothers that I have slain. Hardened in the fires of the great forge at Whiterun, it will take more than a glancing blow, even from a dragon, to penetrate it. I do a deadly dance with the dragon, staying close to its sides to avoid the fiery breath. One misstep from either of us will mean death.

I spilled a little salsa on the counter, no big deal. I scraped most of it up with a chip and popped it in my mouth.

When the dragon lashes out this time, I am ready. I easily sidestep the clumsy bite, grab one of its giant horns, and swing onto the large head. The maze of spikes on top gives very little in the way of footing.  It thrashes violently, feeling as if a wave has tossed me in the air, and then I fall.

My friends all got back from class and greeted me enthusiastically, but I barely noticed they came in. I was still a little groggy and focused on Skyrim. I finished off the dragon, saved my game, and turned off the Xbox. I reclined in my chair, flicked through Twitter on my white IPhone and waited for them to get ready for dinner.

The ten of us walked up to the cafe in groups of twos and threes. I talked about the upcoming Penguins game. It was the regular season and of little consequence. Crosby was still out and the most interesting thing was watching how the young players progressed.

During the first intermission of the Pens game we started drinking. Even with a buzz I talked little during the game, watching every play develop on T.V. One of my friends had too much as usual and passed out around 11. Another one or two were likely to follow him shortly.

I went back to my room to try and work, but with no impending deadline it was impossible. I read Justin Cronin’s gory and suspenseful vampire novel, “The Passage,” for a couple hours and went to sleep.

I can’t remember what I had dreamt when I woke up earlier than preferred, but I don’t doubt it was based on fiction, either a game or book. The fantasy world can engage and teach us just as much as the real one. The lessons and stories can be just as real if we allow ourselves to be taken in by it.