I’m not shy about hating the vacation season. Valrhona darkish chocolate smells good when it’s melted with milk, and my coronary heart glows when ornaments depart sugar-sized glitter in my palm, however there’s nothing else in it for me. The solar units round 4:30 p.m. in New York, and I can now not inform if the rot beneath my windowsill is lamb over rice or rooster. My household is irregular (let’s depart it at that). However I’m losing interest of my yearly distress.
I know what I want to do — I’ll spend a week residing like Resident Evil protagonist Ethan Winters.
I can be studying how to cope from the finest. And the video games are clearly festive. Resident Evil 7 is about Thanksgiving as a result of there are plates of grey goop, Resident Evil Village is about Christmas as a result of there’s snow — Ethan navigates the abject horror in each these video games unbelievably properly. I know that first-person view doesn’t allow you to see it, however I suppose he’s smiling with a cigar in his mouth. It’s time to go full technique actor to survive the holidays.
Day 1: Wash my arms
In Resident Evil, Ethan squirts liquid onto his bloodied or, generally, utterly severed hand so as to heal. This appears like an inherently wholesome coping mechanism to me, so I went for it.
I don’t personal something that may represent “healing liquid” — possibly the cloudy fluid gathering at the high of my Greek yogurt tub, however I’m saving that for later. So I opted for accessibility and ran my left hand beneath the faucet each time I felt upset.
At my roommate Ben’s suggestion, I began utilizing a water bottle for scene accuracy. I poured chilly water from my metallic S’properly knockoff, and my hand began to get actually moist. Nonetheless, I received bolder, rinsing my hand at each alternative. Standing round? Rinse. Peeling potatoes? Rinse (however that point it was as a result of I had potatoes on my hand). Salting beef tenderloin? Rinse (however that point it was as a result of I had uncooked cow on my hand).
Day 2: Be blond
I wouldn’t be Ethan Winters if I weren’t blond.
I imply, technically, I’m not blond; my hair is the similar waxy black as my iPhone 8 display. However my ex-boyfriend insisted that his hair wasn’t blond, it was “light brown.” And I requested blond-haired, blue-eyed Ben — he appears like he’d educate you the way to pronounce Hallo, ich bin unfruchtbar — what it’s like to be blond, and he mentioned, “My hair is dust-colored.” So if all these blond guys don’t suppose they’re blond, I have to be blond by default.
“I’m blond,” I introduced to my roommate Dan.
“Nice,” he mentioned, barely wanting up from his laptop computer. He was thrilled.
Day 3: Deep ache visualization
By being blond, I’d adopted Ethan’s head, however I nonetheless hadn’t gotten into it. It was clear to me, although, that agony was key to being Ethan — he’s all the time in ache, getting his leg severed, his hand torn in half, or his spouse kidnapped.
However I’m grateful for all my limbs, and, if I had a spouse, I’d ask her not to get kidnapped. So as a substitute of inducing any of these horrible issues, I thought I may put my meditation abilities to the check and visualize myself in unbelievable ache, stretching the bounds of my psyche and physique. However then I forgot and I took a bubble tub. I was nonetheless coated in some grease from Thanksgiving.
Day 4: Kidnapping
Visualizations had been ineffective — it was time to get severe. I managed to break down my emotional partitions, and I admitted to myself that I’d be residing inauthentically with out a kidnapping of my very own. So, early in the day, I requested my roommates stage one. When I left my bed room, Ben was gone.
“Downstairs bathroom,” he informed me in a cryptic textual content message. “Come get me.”
The door was locked. I heard Ben taking a private cellphone name, and I may inform he was consuming La Croix primarily based on the fumes — he’d virtually vanished. I was terrified, thrilled by the onerous fact of a life as Ethan Winters. So, by the grace of God, I turned Anglo-Saxon. I brushed my enamel buzzing “Silent Night.”
Day 5: Injection
Yesterday’s kidnapping gave me Germanic generational trauma, which made me really feel extra like Ethan than ever. I rode the wave and embraced a tough alternative he confronted in Resident Evil 7 — inject the 10% Polish particular person on the left with lifesaving serum, or the 7% Scotch-Irish particular person on the proper?
I approached my roommates with an expired EpiPen.
“I only have one dose,” I informed them. Dan went to the rest room to pee. By default, I injected Ben by tapping him on the knee with the security cap. He didn’t discover the cap and shouted one thing about “don’t contaminate my blood with FDA-unapproved drugs.” Whereas ignoring his panic, I admired the twinkle lights on our mini Christmas tree.
I… admired the twinkle lights? Who… who was I? Who was I changing into?
Day 6: Catchphrases
I knew who I was — I was Ethan. That meant I was prepared for my most tough job this week: catchphrases.
Ethan has all types of superior catchphrases. Like, when he witnesses unspeakable violence, or will get mired in incomprehensible ranges of gore, he says “What?” or “What the fuck?”
I pulled up a listing of Ethan Winters quotes on my cellphone, surreptitiously glancing at it over breakfast.
“Hey! Hey, don’t talk like that,” I informed Ben. “We’ll find a safehouse to put you in until I can find my daughter. My hunch is she’s in that old castle.” I peered at his scrambled eggs. “Wait a second, that looks familiar… [seeing a symbol that looks an awful lot like the Umbrella symbol].”
“I can’t take this anymore,” he responded encouragingly.
Day 7: Pregnant
My roommates had been dissatisfied to see my one-week experiment finish, however I felt I had graduated. I needed to high the week off with one thing life-changing and significant.
Resident Evil 7 and 8 each revolve round parenthood — in the former, the villain desires Ethan to be her father, and in the latter, he’s turn out to be one — so the solely logical conclusion to my week was being pregnant… of the thoughts. Sorry for solely committing midway, however my time as Ethan solely lasted yet one more day and I’m fairly positive 9 months is longer than that.
And, anyway, being Ethan for so lengthy made me pregnant with an thought: I might by no means take pleasure in the shallow pageantry of the vacation season, however approaching it with some of Ethan’s airhead dedication may make it simpler to get by means of. I don’t want to instantly change my state of affairs, simply my perspective.
Even when that fails, there are some advantages to not being Ethan. Not like him, I’m not in a online game, doomed to spend eternity getting disemboweled by mildew.