Nothing was interesting anymore. And for Felix, that was a tried-and-true bad sign.
Nights where the stream lost its luster were growing in regularity; so much that he’d let the boys make a soundboard of him so that more people would watch when he wasn’t around. Something something, socialism, something something. Distributing the wealth, as if social media followers were currency. Regardless, his absence was not infrequent, and that apathy was in danger of spreading to the podcast, too.
virgil: Hey man sorry I haven’t been replying
virgil: Just busy with travel stuff. Just got in though
felix: yes bro
virgil: Why weren’t you on pod last thurs?
It had something to do with patterns. Felix knew, above everything, that patterns were only good for him until they weren’t. Before, breaking those patterns led to him becoming successful in this odd way. What would breaking these new, positive, patterns lead to?
Were they positive to begin with? How much could a podcast, let alone a twitch stream accomplish? Were Victory Royales really the key to solving the border crisis?
His therapist said he had a guilt complex. Yeah, he and everyone else.
felix: remember this
virgil: Ah yes my favorite math equation
He'd be lying if he couldn't point a finger at the root of the feeling: no matter how much you don't want to say something out loud, ultimately you can't erase the fact that you feel it.
Felix wondered if any of it was projection. Having only ever been decent at getting laid in his life, before and after podcasting, Felix had inclinations towards loneliness. Loneliness with a shot of pent-up libido and a salted rim of joke-flirting made quite a cocktail. So yes, when Virgil, his friend and co-worker, said the odd thing about them making out, Felix knew to take it at face-value as a joke. But then there were the other moments that caused the confusion: holding eye contact for just a few moments too long. A friendly arm around the shoulder lingering. Getting just a millimeter too close when leaning in to whisper a particular joke during a movie. Were those jokes, too? Was it just a personality thing? Some people are naturally more intimate, right?
It always happens after nights out. Virgil is more tired than drunk, and Felix can tell, but Virgil doesn’t think he can. A nice little game of pretend, they play. Felix felt daring lately, and was in the habit of immediately stripping into a loose tank top, hoping that he could catch Virgil’s eyes wandering. Sometimes he thought maybe he did; maybe it was the light.
This time, Virgil’s on the couch, still in his jacket. His dumb jackets. Felix makes some joke, then with expertise comedic timing, undercuts it by clenching his bicep in just a way. Virgil swats at it.
“Wow, literally flexing?” Virgil laughs. Felix laughs too, realizing Virgil didn’t actually swat his arm, but was in the process of resting his hand on it gently. It held there for a few moments, Felix not daring to look, but still carrying an easy smile.
Felix loved watching vloggers, specifically breakup videos. For every drone shot over a shitty trap beat he had to endure, he might finally understand fully what happens to a person when their work life and their personal life overlap completely.
Seeing Adam and Dasha break up was only a taste of the worst that could happen.
So what was the point of trying, then?
felix: can we talk about something
felix: pod stuff. feeling weird
virgil: I noticed.
felix: can i come over?