Gaming and Me: A Brief History 3 – History in the Hood

Brief History

Let’s talk about something that’s near and dear to my heart and should be near and dear to yours as well: Me.  I just can’t get enough of me, and I hope you can’t either.  That’s why I’ve decided to sit down and write a little bit more about myself (of which I am a leading expert).  I’m going to add a couple more entries into my History series this week.  This time, the focus will be on CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today’s entry involves alcohol, drugs, and violence.  Enjoy!

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DaytonaI have a couple of sisters, both of which are a little older than me.  My eldest sister precedes me by eight years.  My parents got divorced when I was eight, so my eldest sister, who we’ll refer to as Ann, was sixteen at the time.  My mom got a boyfriend quickly after the divorce (Coincidence?), and Mom and I moved in with him and his two children, ages two and five.  My sisters moved in with my grandma because, let’s face it, nobody knew this guy, and my sisters didn’t want anything to do with him.

Fast forward three years.  Now, I’m eleven and in sixth grade, and Ann is nineteen and has been out of school for over a year.  As it so often happens, nineteen-year-olds are constantly looking for something fun to do, and sometimes that fun can be reckless and destructive.  Well, in my neighborhood, “fun” was almost always found in drugs and alcohol.  Here’s where things get weird: my sister, having had nothing to do with Mom and her boyfriend for the past three years, somehow reached out to them, and together they arranged a party at our house.

When I say party, I mean a Party.  I’m talking loud music, roughly thirty eighteen-to-twenty-year-olds, alcohol, and almost all manner of drugs.  And these little hootenannies happened every Friday night.  It was ridiculous, especially considering I was now eleven and my step siblings were five and eight.  I actually remember my five-year-old step sister picking up a “sugar cube” off the floor during one of these parties and my mom running over and smacking it out of her hand as a bunch of douche bags looked on, laughing as she brought it to her mouth.

Cubes

I used to think drunk and high people were so cool, too!

I can still vividly remember the insane amount of people that would file in through the front door and that loud fucking music!  I used to get so mad!  These parties used to go on until four in the morning.  And then there would be dozens of people sprawled out throughout the house, too drunk or high to move, who’d be there until past noon the next day.  It put a real damper on one’s weekend, let me tell you.

Where do video games come in?  Think “Escapism.”  I had just gotten my Sega Saturn (I also had my SNES and Sega WITH the Sega Channel), and if not for that machine and Space Ghost: Coast to Coast, I probably would’ve gone crazy.

Space GhostOh, how I love you.

Though I was present when all this terrible crap was going on, I had the wherewithal to hole my step siblings and me up in my room.  However, sometimes we’d have to go into the living room because whatever shit the party-goers would be smoking would travel and linger in my room.  It was never that big a deal because most of the partying went on in the finished basement.  Well, one time, it was a big deal.

A buddy of mine had asked to spend the night because, unfortunately, these parties had become legendary around town, and he wanted to check it out.  I let him, solely because I wanted to kick his ass at Virtua Fighter 2.  So, I hooked the Saturn up in the living room, and he, my step brother and sister and I sat down to race some cars!  It wasn’t long after I turned the game on that it got everybody at the party’s attention.  I remember somebody actually turning off that loud ass music coming from the basement just so we could properly listen to the opening theme to Daytona USA.  It was magically.

Daytona USA

I don’t know how I neglected to put this gem on my list.

Regrettably, this also got the attention of my sister Ann’s long-time boyfriend, who we will refer to as Dumbass.  Dumbass was known for being completely unstable, and I was known for being a complete smart ass, even at that tender age.  You can only imagine how this ended (and I’m going to pretend you didn’t read the title of this entry).  Anyway, he wanted to race me in Daytona.  Of course I agreed.  At this point, I had played the shit out of the game and was pretty good, and I planned on destroying him in front of all his friends as payback for all the torture he had administered onto me (The torture was nothing serious.  It was mostly lighthearted ribbing or calling me gay in front of my friends.  It was mostly endearing in an “Older Brother Messing With You” kind of way).

The race was a joke; I was killing him from the starting line, and I made sure he knew it.  I kept making stupid comments about how he needed to speed up or how you can’t go through walls.  He was getting pretty pissed, but for some reason I couldn’t stop.  By the middle of the race, Dumbass had wrecked into so many walls that his car looked pretty ragged.  Dumbass also happened to be a used-car salesman at the time.  So, as I lapped him, I said, “Car looks good.  Aren’t these what the cars you sell look like?”  That was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and nearly mine, too.

I remember hearing a loud roar, feeling a black blur whiz past my head and smashing into the wall (my controller), and then a sudden lack of oxygen and intense pain in and around my larynx.  Next thing I see is the ceiling up in my face, and then quickly rushing away, followed by a sudden stop and a lot more pain.  Then it was dark.  It wasn’t until a few moments later when I had regained consciousness that my friend told me what happened.  “Ann’s boyfriend just chokeslammed you like he was the Undertaker!”

Paul BearerBut I wonder how Dumbass will fair against my Undertaker?  Oh, yesssss!

Apparently, after Dumbass had chokeslammed me, everyone at the party had descended on him like a bunch of hungry jackals vying for the last scrap of meat and kicked him out of the house.  A few minutes after that, my mom caught wind of the situation and chased everyone out with one of those iron pokers from the fireplace.

And that was the last time there was one of those parties at my house for a long time.  The next time one of those parties started up, my mom grabbed me and a bunch of our stuff and left immediately, which was a good move.  The things I don’t understand are why these parties happened in the first place, and why so frequently?  She was an adult in her mid-thirties.  She should have known better.  The only thing I could figure is that she found these parties to be an opportunity to bond with her estranged daughter.  Regardless, it was a poor decision.

The worst part about all this (besides getting half of my video games stolen or left behind during the abrupt exit) is how it changed my mom.  As a reaction to her poor decision, she became incredibly religious and oppressive, and I lost a lot of freedoms, especially on the video game front.  But that story is for another day.

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