Candy Crush Commuter. You are me and I am you.

We may never make eye contact, we may never touch beyond an absent brush, but we are united. We share in the Almighty. I have walked where you have walked. I have been through the pains of level 14, the trials of 38, and the misery of 61. I made a bargain with the Gods to pass 79, and have given my first born at the success of completing 90. While the Minty Meadows hold innocent memories of a world without expanding chocolate, they are tarnished by the path they forged to the godforsaken realm of Easter Bunny Hills. The chocolate expanding and expanding; not just engulfing our tear-soaked screens, but darkening the growing void in my soul. These are the moments we take to our grave.

I recognize myself in you, a version of myself I once knew. That glazed look across your face, pupils the color of chocolate bonbons, determination as rock-hard as a gobstopper. We are dehumanized, but dehumanized with a purpose. People may look upon us and silently shake their heads, thinking they are better than us because they spend their time “reading,” “communicating” or with “loved ones,” but we have something more powerful. A higher purpose. And strong thumbs. But hear me oh blessed traveler, with great time wasted comes great responsibility.

Do not be fooled by the empty praise Candy Crush will bestow upon you, “Devine!” “Delicious!” “Sugar Crush!” It has you in its pastel-colored talons. When you see that heart, crying over your depleted lives, you are looking into the eyes of Satan. Those dewy cartoon pupils know no mercy. Take heed from a seasoned crusher, this is a game not just of exploding sweets, but of emotional trickery. Do you have the fortitude to free unthinkable hard candies from their virtual jail? What about your own virtual jail? Do you count your victories not in friendships gained or raises earned but in lemon drops destroyed? These are the questions that separate the men from the boys, the Wafer Wharf Warriors from the Peppermint Palace Pussies.

I come to you not necessarily as a friend, nor as a foe (although I did completely annihilate your level 105 score); rather I come to you as a brother to both fear and trust. When I hear that familiar jaunty, almost nightmare-like carnival music emanating from you palm refuge, I know you are not simply being an obnoxious public transportation user, but rather you are lost in the battle of the Crush. Other people may be going to work, home, or to volunteer at the children’s hospital, but we are going somewhere far more important. We are the only ones truly on a journey. Take my hand, just not my gaming hand.