It was the summer before my sophomore year of high school. My older brother had just left for college, leaving a box of 80s-era VHS tapes in the closet of his recently vacated bedroom, which was actually a renovated loft over the two-car garage attached to my parents’ house. What my brother Josh had always referred to as his “Mike Seaver bedroom,” though I never got the reference (well I do now because I Googled it as I was writing this, but I digress…)
I’d always envied the apartment-like privacy of my brother’s room and was pestering my folks to let me have it the moment Josh announced that he was going to an out-of-state school. My mom eventually relented on the grounds that I first moved everything he left behind into my old bedroom. I quickly agreed and the closet had been the last thing I cleaned out. When I came across the tapes, I immediately assumed “vintage porn” but was quite surprised to find that the entire box was nothing but old obscure horror films. Mostly stuff with ridiculous titles and dated cover art but, being a fan of terrible B-grade horror, it was actually quite the find.
The only problem was my brother didn’t have a VCR, at least not one that he left behind, and neither did my parents. I begged my mom to let me use her credit card to buy one I found online for like thirty bucks and she of course asked me what a boy with a Blue-ray player and a laptop needed with a VCR. I explained about the box of tapes in Josh’s room and she scoffed, saying “I’m honestly starting to worry. You’re always watching horror movies and playing those violent video games. You need to start reading more books.”
“Can I use your credit card to order books then?”