Terry Crews gives me the finger. “Hey, fuck you, Goten! How was I supposed to know this was going to be a lame server?”
“It’s in the server name—‘Bus Stop Simulator,’” I reply, exasperated.
“Goat Simulator had a similarly-minimalist name, and it was awesome!” Terry glances down the bland, paved-and-lawn-mowed suburb lane that seems to stretch both ways into cloudless blue sky infinity. Then, frowning, he gestures at the industrial-jungle décor of the bus stop. “I mean…the stop’s kind of cool. Like, a metaphor for travel or, uh, hope in the midst of despair or something.”
“Maybe it’s a metaphor for this server sucks.”
“Maybe you suck.”
“And another thing: why are you skinned as Terry Crews?”
“More importantly,” Ernie says, intentionally flexing one of Terry’s massive arms, “now that virtual skins are the thing, why aren’t you skinned?”
“I’m comfortable in my actual skin,” I say.
“I call that bullshit right the fuck out. Nobody’s comfortable in their own skin. Why do you think they invented makeup? Haircuts? Hot wax? Plastic surgery?”
“With or without a skin, I’m still me. So, I’ll just be my own little unique individual self, thank you very much.”
“Only reason anyone touts his individuality is because he either can’t decide on a skin, or he doesn’t want to be ridiculed for his tastes.” Ernie studies me thoughtfully. “Is that it? You wish you could wear a giant, orange Trump skin without guff from your friends? You want to be Simone Biles and prance around in a leotard, but you’re worried people will think you’re weird?”
I fold my arms. “I don’t need to cope for my own insecurities by hiding behind a skin that’s as unsuited to my natural physical traits as possible.”
Ernie scowls, looks down the street again. “Something’s going to happen. You’ll see. This server is awesome.”
A young, attractive, and almost-certainly-skinned yoga babe walks up sporting coffee cup, laptop, casual indifference.
She stands quietly beside us.
Waiting for the bus.
Ernie face-palms himself. “Okay, this is officially fucking lame.”