What It Looks Like
Well, he didn’t have a van. That part isn’t true. But yes, he did invite a bunch of dudes from Gabe’s soccer practice over to feast on cards and hang out in his garage, which is admittedly a fully functional arcade. I’m not super sure I would be like, “Hey son, yes please, go to that man’s house who has a job I don’t entirely understand and who has shelves full of toys to lure children to his skin farm” but I would probably save a ton of money on boosters if I did. What I am trying to say is that parenting is hard.
I told Gabriel (and he remembered!) that having one of us on your block has to be like having a Warlock on the corner. Like, you’re going down the street and it’s house, house, house, tower of unlikely manufacture. You can petition this Warlock for PAX passes and he will rub his chin inscrutably. The young don’t understand how a person can have an Xbox One, a PS4, and a Wii U. It is the same as if I made a broom sweep the hall, except way better, because who gives a shit about brooms. Fuck brooms, that’s my motto. They drop a broom with a touchscreen and Wireless Fi, maybe we can talk.
These interests are substantially more mainstream now than they were. I had to meet my childless, livin’ alone Warlocks on Bulletin Board Systems, which made up the spine of a kind of local Internet. This was when “long distance” was still a thing, so if you were contacting a system it was almost certainly a local number. Which meant the people you met on there lived somewhere in your town, close enough to bike to their mostly dark and absolutely filthy houses with a backpack full of blank floppy discs and no escape plan. My mom must have let me go because she wanted me to know that she trusted me, or my judgment or whatever, but these motherfuckers were weird as shit; all half-formed angles, like Origami given up on halfway through.