I did it. I did it. I DID IT!
This week has been a slog. A real slog.
Last Saturday I had an eyeball that throbbed in pain to the point where I could barely open my eyes. On Sunday I was told I had a viral infection and I couldn’t wear my contacts any more.
I don’t have glasses, so I was essentially blind.
On Tuesday I was told I could have literally gone blind had I continued to wear my contact lenses. On Wednesday more bad news: the glasses I had ordered to replace my contact lenses had been delayed.
Today. Thursday. I have appointment with another specialist. The viral infection I have has spread to my cornea. I’ve been on a series of eyedrop medications that come with a risk. The doctors don’t think I have an infection to go with my virus but, if I do, the steroids I’m dropping into my eyeballs have the potential to strengthen it, which could result in an abscess appearing in my actual eyeball.
It’s been a difficult week.
And through it all, a boss battle. Kicking my arse. Brutal; without mercy. The Ruin Sentinels: three golden bastards tag-teaming the shit out of my flesh to the point where I couldn’t see a way past. I had died so consistently, so definitively to the point where the fight felt hopeless in the way that the most difficult boss battles in Dark Souls frequently do.
That feeling. That Dark Souls feeling. Despair.
For the past three days I had been sitting three feet away from a 46 inch plasma, wearing my wife’s prescription glasses. A prescription not even close to my own, but better than nothing. The light filters through the lens in strange ways and my brain took a while to adjust. And as I squint, all the while, the grim spectre of Dark Souls death. Over and over again.
My technique for the Sentinel boss battle was fairly refined. That might have been the most frustrating part. I knew what I needed to do, I understand how to do it, I was simply ill-equipped for the task at hand. My sword too weak, my health too low. It took me a long time to realise this; to realise that – physically – I just wasn’t up to the task.
A bitter pill to swallow. I began to backtrack, explore. I noticed brand new areas I had completely missed first time round, boss battles I had skipped. Hours later, with a newly upgraded sword, and a better set of stats, I returned to the Ruin Sentinels a brand new man. Ready to do battle on an even keel, ready to fight with the odds in my favour.
Then I died.
But of course I came back. And died again. And then I came back. But this time it felt easier, more achievable. The end was in sight and then, for a second, it was almost as if everything became crystal clear: the movesets, the techniques, the counters, the timing. It all clicked to point where the boss battle suddenly felt easy. It felt fluid. I was in a perfect flow. Eventually, with only one Sentinel left, my stomach tensed. I knew it was over. I knew I had it. The difficulty of the fight in particular was the problem of tackling more than one opponent at a time. When it was just me and one enemy in front of me, I knew I could tackle it easily.
The excitement began to build. I remained patient. I fought conservatively, only breaking my pattern to deliver the final blow. Victory achieved.
Relief. That zen feeling, the blood pumping from my heart to my veins. That injection of adrenaline, like a runner’s high. That Dark Souls feeling.
My brand new glasses, with the correct prescription, arrive tomorrow.