I’d heard him and one of his friends fucking around last night in living room, but I didn’t let it bother me very much and just slept through it like I usually do. I probably should have gotten up and done something but it’s too late for that now.
This morning when I woke up, I found my N64 crunched in in the middle with part of a broken a Perfect Dark cartridge still sitting inside it. On top was a piece of notebook paper with the word, “sory” written on it.
I nearly started bawling right there.
I went to class anyway, tried not to think about what had happened, but it didn’t work. I don’t even know if we have homework today. I wouldn’t have been paying enough attention to know to leave if everyone else hadn’t gotten up around me. I skipped the rest of my classes. I think one of them had a test today but I don’t care.
I don’t think you can understand what I’ve lost. N64’s and used games are easy enough to come across on eBay or whatever, but man, this was priceless. You can’t replace what was inside that cartridge.
When I saw him again, I asked my roommate how it had happened and he told me that while playing Madden on his PS2, he and his friend had gotten into an argument and started wrestling. They’d accidentally gotten wrapped in the cords of my N64 which was nearby and pulled it off the top of the counter onto the floor.
Just like that, gone.
There’s a line in the movie Blade Runner where one of the replicants says something to the effect of, “All these memories gone… like tears in rain.” My Perfect Dark cartridge wasn’t lost in rains, but it was full of memories. Memories of my childhood and adolescence, the greatest time in my life, bar none.
This was the game, understand. This was what I and all of my friends played. Two of my neighbors also had it and we played it so much that we all became really good at it. It’s part of why one of them became my best friend. Other, farther away neighbors didn’t, and most people who came over to visit didn’t either, but they weren’t all that important because they didn’t compile stats like me and my two neighbors did, especially me and my best friend.
See, Perfect Dark keeps track of everything you do in the multiplayer mode. Time spent, kills, deaths, victories, accuracy, the whole lot. Everything you do is recorded for posterity, usually yourself at a later date.
Literally, days of our lives were recorded in that game. Literally. They weren’t wasted, if that’s what you were thinking. No, they were preserved in a time capsule that I could access at any time. Lately, I’ve been the only one going back to look, but that doesn’t matter. It’s still there, preserved perfectly. My best friend could come over and play it with me again and it would be like nothing happened. Or he could if it wasn’t broken.
We haven’t played Perfect Dark together in years. I’m not sure what he’s doing now exactly because I haven’t kept up with him, but I see him in his profile with 4500 kills and that’s him. That’s him as I knew him and I remember all of the stuff we got to do. We played other games, of course, but this was the game and the players recorded in it are us.
But now he’s gone, and I can’t get him back. I can play the game again on a different cartridge and start compiling new stats, but why bother? I don’t want to relive young adulthood.
I don’t know what I’m going to do to my roommate for this, but I consider him a murderer and nothing I do back will be enough.