moby-dick-(or-the-whale)-23
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WALLPAINTINGS

13 December 2006

We set the deadline to the end of April. That way, when one of us four residents would leave, at least the other ones wouldn't suddenly face a colossal rent on their own. It was the only civil thing to do. When Tom and Michiel let us know they wanted to move again, Jasper and I saw disaster in our mind's eye: one of them bailing and leaving us in the mess.

And so; a deadline. Everyone can move whenever he wants, but must pay April's dues. It would buy Jasper and me some time to finish our busy project and then allow us to consider our options in peace. Imagine my surprise when I cheekily started looking in advance of what was to come and casually strolled onto a magnificent opportunity. I'm going to buy an apartment in the centre of Utrecht. This is a very unorthodox thing to do for a student without a steady income, but there's an organisation that arranges exactly that; getting a bank to cough up a mortgage for me to buy my own little studio.

Easily excitable as I am; I spent the whole weekend thinking up plans what to do with it. I soon decided that I wanted to paint my future walls with some gaming imagery. I had already seen online some really cool rooms with entire Mario-themed landscapes. How cool is it to have your own Mushroom kingdom room?! I wasn't really sure though: Mario works very well because of its pixeled abstraction and I like the games enough, but maybe there was something that'd suit me even better. A quick questionnaire on Idle Thumbs spawned ideas ranging from Day of the Tentacle to Wolfenstein 3D (granted, the idea of Mecha-Hitler emptying his four chainguns at me every day was tempting, but maybe not the right thing to have for years and years on your wall). I was researching a bit as well, and then I found it: The Curse of Monkey Island.

I immediately liked the idea, but I wasn't comfortable with having volumes of lush tropical vegetation around me all the time. Neither am I a 'green' sort of person. So I kept looking, and then I found the perfect solution. In the beginning of the game, Guybrush is drifting through the ocean in a cart, absentmindedly, as he writes his memoirs. It was perfect! I could have a nice blue ocean all around me, under a light blue sky. It brings the desired level of abstraction (the blue could also just be a style), but keeps totally true to the theme. And then apart from Guybrush bobbing around in his cart, I could also paint little galleys and islands in the distance. And a barrel of rum with a chicken on top drifting somewhere. And the skies filled with those typical, swirling Monkey Island clouds. Beautiful.

Of course, if I leave for a new apartment now, I'll have to pay double rent up until April. Damn you, self-inflicted deadline! But no, it was the only social thing to do. A small price to pay for the preservation of my karma. And an equally small price for such an awesome opportunity.

And Guybrush Threepwood, lost on the ocean and lost in thought, on my living room wall.

Roderick.