He was a menace on the playground. He was prone to scrapes and fights at the drop of a hat over benign disagreements. This concerned me somewhat, but I never had a friend with a Super Nintendo. My misgivings with Edgar were overruled by my excitement. I was very eager to head over to his place and finally play Mario World.
Eventually, one bright Saturday morning, I rode my bike over to his house smiling the entire way. I knocked on his door barely containing the anticipation of being able to play Super Mario World for the first time.
His mother answered the door and gave me a brief tour of the house. It was a humble home. I remember thinking how tiny it was, but it had a very kept and comforting interior. That is, except for the basement. I descended the stairs to find Edgar alone in the cavernous room. It was cold and sterile. The grey concrete served as a stark contrast to the rest of the house.
His mother pulled me to the side and discreetly said to me, “thanks so much for being his friend.” This struck me as very strange. Her hand left my shoulder as she turned and climbed the stairs with a smile beaming from her face.
Edgar was oblivious to my presence as I approached him. He was so engrossed in Mario that he barely paid me any attention. I was in no way offended by this. Gaming was first and foremost in our lives. Everything else was secondary. Even when his dog, Lady, came down the stairs and licked his face, he didn’t break his gaze from the screen. He just grabbed the dog by the muzzle and dismissively pushed her away.
We spent the afternoon taking turns on his SNES. Though I didn’t think it was possible, after hour 4 I became bored with the game. I asked him what else he had to play, and he told me to check the closet. He indicated a door on the other side of the room. I walked over and opened it. The interior of the closet was rather large. Inside was a shelf with various video games on it. It was difficult to read the titles. I flipped on the light. My eye was immediately drawn to the back corner. I stared at it intently for a good 10 seconds. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Perplexion gave way to fear.