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No, I still haven't replaced my horrible decaying mousepad

Learning to live with a corpse

You knew it would happen. First the wound opened and sprayed you with viscera, then the skin peeled back to raw flesh, and this next step was bound to happen one day. Yet even as the lump shifted beneath your wrist, and you knew it was worming its way free, maybe it wouldn't? Maybe it would be fine? Maybe it would stay there. Please, let it stay there. You can't deal with losing it now. Oh god, let it stay there. Not now. Please, not now. But it happened (of course it did!). And you know what? You're okay. It wasn't the end of the world.

You felt the pressure give out against your wrist, heard a flop, and looked down. There it was. A lump fell out. A big lump, by your foot. After the dread of what might happen when it inevitably emerged, it was just there. You pick the lump up and look at it. It's a big lump, no doubt. And it did look like a bubbled and cracked lump of charred flesh still soft with tacky yellow fat on the inside. Yet you're surprised by how calm you feel. It's not so bad out in the open. This is what you were so worried about? This was the pressure shifting beneath the skin, the pinch in your vein, the tumour you kept pushing back, the horor you hoped to never experience in daylight? So what? It's not so bad.

The horrible insides of a rotting mousepad slopped onto the floor.
Suddenly, it's just... there

After turning the lump in your hands for a while, examining it from every angle, you pop it back under the skin and shuffle it into its old spot. This is not perfect, but it'll work. You realise you can live with this, for now. More than that, you think you need to live with this right now. A sweeping solution is more than you can currently manage.

One day, your mouse will give out. At that point, do away with at all. Cast the mousemat away, trash the mouse, and start over. Rebuild from a clean (and Sheen-fresh) desktop. Who knows what you'll use! Some vertical mouse, maybe? That could work for you. A combination of vertical and horizontal mice, even, swapping off as needs must? Maybe!

You feel it shift beneath the skin again. You know it's still there, still loose, still waiting to reemerge. But if it does, so what? You understand what it is, now. You understand the problem. You have solutions lined up. And you can cram it back in, if you must.

It's disgusting, no doubt. But it'll be fine, one day. Hopefully soon.

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About the Author
Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice has been playing video games since SkiFree and writing about them since 2009, with nine years at RPS. She enjoys immersive sims, roguelikelikes, chunky revolvers, weird little spooky indies, mods, walking simulators, and finding joy in details. Alice lives, swims, and cycles in Scotland.

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