I was playing by myself when she entered the room. Quickly I hit stand, but it was too late; she had seen.
ospintriple: aww thats cute, u dont know how to tspin?
I was a bit embarassed – I mean, I was already level 20 but I’d never done a T-spin before. Most of my friends have been T-spinning regularly since about level 14.
ospintriple: u want me to show you how? :3
Cautiously I agreed. I didn’t want to seem too eager, but I’ve always wondered what it was like to pull off a T-spin triple. I’d tried a few times on my own but was never able to manage it. She went in first, and I followed.
She started by showing me some basic setups. She had me juggle pieces so I didn’t top out; I watched closely as she demonstrated. I admired the ease and fluidity of her stacking, the shape of her field. The finesse with which she soft dropped the T into place and rotated it just right so that it slipped firmly into place.
ospintriple: u c?
She made a couple more improvised T-spins, warming up, and then challenged me to a real game.
I admit I was nervous. I mean, I’d had a lot of practice at Tetris but this was really putting me on the spot. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to perform on cue. The setup she had showed me was easy enough, though, and so I went for it.
I stacked the first few blocks slowly, carefully. I had to think hard to make sure I didn’t put one in the wrong place. She pressured early and I was forced to abort. What followed was a flurry of frantic downstacking, with lots of clean garbage going back and forth, until we each had countered enough to get back on even terms.
The panic rose up in me; was this really all I was good for? Surely I could stack better, longer, faster…? And I must be capable of making at least one T-spin! Time seemed to slow down, as one brief instant of agony spread through my heart and stomach, and then I saw it. The shape, just so. A C-spin, shaped around the misdrop. It was like my mind expanded into new dimensions; I knew exactly where everything should go.
My confidence came rushing back, and I attacked with renewed vigor. Placing blocks expertly, effortlessly, I quickly built my upstack. I was taking heavy pressure once again, but I didn’t care. I was going to sink this T-spin triple before I topped out and nothing could stop me.
I completed my setup.
There was no T in sight.
I hadn’t held! I was so caught up in my stacking that I had forgotten to hold a T to execute the spin with. The panic started to build once again, but I kept it in check. I was near the top now, but there were only five pieces in my way. Quickly, deftly, I stacked them to the sides, utilizing floor kicks to push the few remaining blocks up and over the top, deep into the hidden area. I had the T, but my garbage meter was rising. It was the moment of truth; would it be enough?
It was, barely. The top of my stack kissed the ceiling, but it wasn’t enough to KO me. I managed to slip the next T in quickly after the first, and followed it up with a combo into the downstack. Her garbage meter built quickly into the red, throbbing angrily along the side of her matrix, and she had no defense. She dropped her last piece and topped out.
I let out a breath I didn’t know I had been holding, all in a rush. A feeling of elation warmed me, and I couldn’t stop grinning. I thanked my opponent profusely for her guidance, congratulating her on a game well-played.
ospintriple: go again?
I stood from the room. I wouldn’t be able to play another game like that for at least an hour. I tipped my virtual hat and left.