Look to the Angry Birds of the Air
I should be weary from pulling back this catapult, but I am focused. I believe in sleep in an abstract sense. Like in the way that some people feel about God. I find my rest in repetition, in the recreation of just violence. This war was started over kidnappings and murder, but I now value not the justice, but reiterations. I valued routine when I was young, first with my parents building daily echoes: sleep will find you, brush your teeth, take a shower, plug your ears, fall asleep. Then with lovers and teachers and counselors: sleep will take you, just talk to me, read a book, go for a run, fall asleep. And next with doctors and friends and strangers: sleep will beat you down, just take this pill, turn off your machines, turn off your weapons, be at peace.
My peace will not come from ending this war, this invasion of their land as punishment for what they stole, this decimation of their stand for what rights they see as natural through the old monarchy. No, my peace comes slowly swipe by swipe by tap as I pick them off in the seas and in the forests and in the cosmos.
When I was a child, I would sneak to the computer room, and I would lose myself building empires and industries and neighborhoods on that computer until my parents would turn me around to face the night. The nights inched past, and now as I lay in my bed, those empires have dwindled to birds and blocks and temples in the jungle and doodles and spaceships. I am haunted most nights by the guilt of knowing that I should be sleeping, but I cannot, and so I turn to the rhythm of geometry and avian warfare and pixilated science fiction.
Swipe, I have destroyed their city and rescued my birds. Swipe, I have stolen their treasures. Tap, I have the satisfaction of watching the swine bruise and swell and pop. Swipe, swipe, swipe, I have climbed into their skies and I have danced through their wormholes. Swipe, I have crashed for now, but tap, swipe, tap, swipe, I am back, and I no longer remember how long I have been in space—how long I have been trying to tap, tap into dreams, for I am swiping and destroying and plundering and scaling the heights of their ruin and I am repeating, repeating this level until it hurts to hold my phone and I no longer remember to blink or hold my breath at the sight of risk. This is the quickest ascension.
Once I am there, everything is lines and shapes. Their bloated bodies mix among the rubble and their curves diminish into hard angles. When I was a child, building my empires, I used to trace the imperfections and blemishes on my mother’s windshield with my eyes crossed, so that the shapes would all align, and the pathways to wherever I was headed would become clear. I would memorize these shapes and lines and bring them back to my computer to translate them into imperfect machines and gold mines and suburbs. As I lay in my bed, not awake, but instead meditating on tasks at hand, all of these birds and bricks and rocks are once again parabolas and octagons and everything snaps into place and I can see the weaknesses in my enemies and the pathways I need to take.
I no longer worry whether I am the virus attacking their breed or if they are the cancer I need to cut out, but rather, I need, need, need to send my birds, need to break them down and there, in the planned chaos, there are moments of glimpsing perfection in the glowing math inches from my eyes. It is here where I am restored, in the prolongation and ongoing victories of a war that will never end, where I can always be the just invader. Crusading and tearing forward, I annihilate those pigs’ culture, empire, and existence. Swipe, tap, tap, I drive them ever farther to the corners of the land and oceans then the known and unknown galaxy, as I methodically reclaim my birds and my own and my rewards. It is for this that I trade sleep, for it is here where I find rest, among the shapes and the colors and the lines and the terrible silent equations of the earliest hours of day.