Gamer's Luck4 mins 242 4 mins 242
COLD MISO SOUP
“Ah man, this guy’s more exhausting than I thought.”
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about gaming?
Do you picture a bunch of over-eccentric boys kept silent by the audio of their headphones?
Do you imagine a whole new world of exaggerated color schemes and characters with various hair colors?
Do you think of racing, fighting, shooting, skating, gambling?
Do you live off of gaming? Or is it just one of those things that you’ll never understand the hype about?
I live for it. Every breath I take behind my screen is new power flowing to my avatar. Every level I unlock is a whole new galaxy that I must swim through. Every character I take down, every creature I pulverize, every road I wander, every weapon I hold, every item I gain, every game I win. I live for it.
“Fuji. Come down for lunch before I call out your entire name.”
“Oh. This is bad. This is bad bad.”
But man, I’m on the last level of RawSK8.
I rip off my ultra-bass headphones while gently placing them on my grazed desk. I abruptly swirl around 180 degrees in my swivel and violently jump onto the floor with my pale bare feet. It’s so cold. Was it this cold when I was gaming? I take one step closer to my door and oh no- I’m already looking back. The room’s dark. All of the lights are off and the windows are shut. The heater’s just barely working, we really need a new one. My desk’s cramped up with a mountain of tissues, Cola cans (some finished and some partially full), a half-eaten bowl of Ramen noodles, some thrashed-up looking figurines, lollipop wrappers and sticks, and a bunch of gambling cards dripping off the desk like water. I don’t even gamble (yet), where the hell did the cards come from?
My eyes shift away from the hot mess and gaze into the computer screen. A mirage of colors that look so enticing it’s almost dangerous- the only thing lighting up the room, brighter than blurred city lights. I taste the sourness of adrenalin wafting through the air. Wait a second- it’s sweat, so much for having my own dramatic monologue.
I can feel my eyes gleam and grow bigger as they study the game’s interface with undeniable astonishment. “RESUME”, “HELP”, “CHANGE SK8”. These three words, floating in the middle of the glass like undiscovered planets, appear to me as Gods. Each button has a heartbeat of its own and I can feel mine synchronize with every one of them. I get cold sweat when competing yet I’m on fire like never before. I feel like I’m being absolved off my sins in Church and every crack of the whip, off the game, is painful. I feel like-
“FUJI NAKAMURA WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU.”
I feel like my life is about to come to an end over a bowl of miso soup. I should really head off now.
“Yes, I’m here, I'm here!”
“No you’re physically here but mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and in every other way possible, you’re there.”
“Isn’t the existence of my body more than enough?”
“The existence of your body will no longer be if you come this late for lunch again.”
She’s smiling, but it seems sinister. Is this a good or a bad sign? Either way, the only thing that gives me more goosebumps than losing virtually is this woman right here. Mom.
“Mom, we need a new heater.”
“Sure, I’ll sell your gaming set for it.”
“Mom, our heaters work beautifully, the suggestion of a new heater is absurd.”
Yep, she’s the only game I can’t figure out.
“Oh, a warm welcome to my much preferred child.”
“Yeah, I always knew you played favourites.”
“I did not say ‘favourite’, I said ‘prefered’.
With a short gap of silence taken to absorb the after-attack of such an already diminishing remark, all I could say is,
“I’m dumb, but not that dumb.”
“You’re dumb enough to have not passed a math quiz you cheated on.”
And this is a game I’d never want to play, “The Sister Complex”, aka, Junko Nakamura. She was named after Junko Tabei, the first japanese female climber to have climbed Mt. Everest. My parents, with their creepy obsession with the concept of overcoming situations, named her after the woman who’d overcome the highest mountain in the world. They have high standards, yet they had me. But as long as she hasn’t climbed Mt. Fuji, I’m good (wink wink).
“I… I… I’ll cheat better next time.”
“Dear God, I don’t know if I should be ashamed or proud right now.”
“Knowing this boy, the latter, mother. At least he’s putting effort into something other than twiddling his thumbs.”
“Alright, foods getting cold, let’s eat. Itadakimasu.”
(Fuji and Junko in unison) “Itadakimasu.”
I slightly choke on the Miso soup.