A dry heat encompasses me as I sit at a semi-cramped workspace, surrounded by coworkers, laptops, empty red bull cans, impossible entanglements of wires, and one poorly positioned fan. The heat comes from a high combination of sources, and is combated by precious few. My hands sweat profusely as I read through fact sheet after press release after asset disc, scanning for points to touch on as I write up games that will be shown at a trade show that has yet to even begin. As I do this, I begin rocking back and forth slightly without even realizing it, like a visibly upset autistic child.
My iPod has been the source of music for the entire room since I arrived from my morning press conference. It started on song 75 of 6805. It's up to 210 now. Some song from the new Eels album. It is soon replaced by the shrieking grindcore sounds of Dillinger Escape Plan. Variety is the spice of life.
All around me, transparent versions of people I know watch over me with frightening looks in their eyes. Tim Tracy looks much happier than a window decal ever should. Jeff Gerstmann is staring a hole in my soul.
My legs ache ever so slightly, a side effect from sitting in the same chair for over eight hours, only taking 2-3 minute standing breaks every hour or so to grab a piece of stale pizza or answer nature's call. I did not sleep well last night, and have no illusions of making up for that fact any time throughout the next week. My eyes burn from the combination of the air's relative dryness and lack of proper rest.
I have heard and used the word zombie approximately 130 times in the last 24 hours. Make that 131.
The mechanations of cranes frequently pull my attention away from whatever I'm doing, causing me to look up and see one teamster or another gruffly adjusting a light or a kiosk while scratching their asses and wooly facial hair simultaneously.
Seemingly every hour on the hour, one thing or another causes the entire room to stir. Be it a big announcement from a press conference, a technical snafu, an emergency video coming in STAT; whatever the case, I could set my watch by it at this juncture...if I actually owned a watch.
I hurt, I'm tired, I'm grody, I'm hungry, I'm thirsty, I'm stressing. And yet, I couldn't be happier to be here, a part of this monstrosity of a trade show, covering it with all these thoroughly insane, but thoroughly cool people. Living in this body-heated box for 8-10 hours a day is a privledge dammit, and while this conglomerate of minor annoyances may try to bring me down, it ain't gonna. Between the new consoles, new games, and just doing my damn job, I don't have time to be unhappy. Irritation is a luxury I cannot afford. Ladies and gentlemen, it's great to be back in Los Angeles. Seriously. I am willing to love this town for exactly one week a year. This week. E3 week.
Only 16 hours until the real show starts. Godspeed You Black Emperors.