Developer: Ali Krouse
Launcher Quote: “I don’t remember when I met her. She was just some cool girl who I didn’t know but had a few friends in common with, and then I blinked and she was everywhere. I didn’t even realize how much of our lives crossed over. And then before I knew what was happening that crossover was all that mattered to me. Soon we became friends. Running into each other at social events turned into chatting, hanging out, getting shitty fast food ice cream together…becoming more and more close and more and more intertwined. At some point I fell in love with her. I thought I was dreaming when she started flirting back. I’d wanted that for so long I honestly didn’t know how to react. When she kissed me I thought I had died and gone to heaven. We started going on dates, mostly involving pizza and graffiti because we’re both shitty punk girls and that was our idea of a good time. It was good. I felt like she saw me and liked me for who I am. She made me feel special. And then she left without a word.”
When it comes to relationships, it’s extremely hard to want and have them without at some point expressing some kind of heartbreak or difficulty, even as you experience such joy and uniqueness of feeling. Ali’s entry for Meditation Games has an ample bit of both, contained in an activity that typified the bond that she shared with the girl she refers to in her launcher quote. When you’re with someone that makes you feel special, any activity that you do together, no matter what it is, is something that allows you to be close with them, spend time with them, and express love to them. When things are good, they’re a reminder that creates memories of fondness and warmth.
But when things go badly, they’re a reminder of something that could have been, or of the pain that one experiences. The sudden turn, both of the launcher quote and of the game, into the heartbreak that follows after being left behind and being essentially told that they weren’t enough is stark, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility for anything that feels like heartbreak. The things that used to seem like they were special and made you feel warm now feel like awful reminders and cold. The memories that you had before can seem like difficulties that you want to purge out of your head and the immediate days after being left alone are painful and soul-crushing.
Some people would swear off being with someone altogether after going through such pain, and I don’t blame them their choices to do so. Being guarded about one’s self means that you don’t necessarily have to worry about having to be hurt. But therein lies the inherent risk to being with someone and being open to the possibility of that. It’s near impossible to be with someone if you aren’t able to open yourself up to being hurt, but what you get out of that is the myriad of possibilities and feelings that are on some level unique to being intimately connected to them. There is a vast sea of potential for soaring high, but also the same for having to be brought low. Either way, regardless of the choice to open oneself to such amazing or painful possibilities, one only need to learn lessons from what came before, lean on others for support to help get through the pain that can happen, and ultimately keep moving forward – something that applies no matter what you choose to do.