11,440 hours. That's well over a year of time I have lived. Truly lived.
I try not to think about it. After all, who thinks about how many hours they spend asleep, or on the toilet, or driving to work? No one wants to know how much time is passing by.
Sure, I've been around for some 25 years, but really I was asleep for most of it. Almost all of it. I am not the smartest guy. I'm stuck in a chair. And Lord knows I don't have much in the looks department. It wasn't until I went online that I finally woke up. Got what I deserved. Became me.
A body. No, not just a body. I have a body. A good body, a good-looking body. Damn, make it a sexy one. Muscles, the kind that you could only get with 11,440 hours of working out. Hair, money, friends, a relationship, even sex. It's all there, all online, all in this community, this other life. My avatar is not just a representation of myself – it is an extension of myself. It is what I should look like if I wasn't bound to this damn chair.
No, this other life is my life. My chair, my overbite, my greasy hair, the 4 hours a day I spend coding for some company I've never been to… this is what is not real. This is fake. I don't have control over it, just like a dream. I only work because I need to, just like sleep. When I'm awake, I can do whatever I want. I'm better than you. I'm popular and funny and sexy and everything I'm not when I'm asleep. Hell, who needs sleep?
11,500 hours. I can ignore the hunger. After a while, it goes away. My chair is covered in urine, but I don't care. It's not real, anyway. What's real is the woman standing in front of me, her avatar dressed in sexy lingerie. She's beckoning to me. I go to her, ready to-
Everything goes dark. The lights, the computer, the oscillating fan – all of it stops. There is nothing left but this death-like sleep and the smell of urine.