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Solomon Deep

A young man reflects on how divorce impacted his life the summer he got his first Nintendo... and his second... and his third. In the uncertain parental universe he traversed, the button on his 8-bit consoles allowed a reset in a world in which he had little control. The summer swam with refreshes in dreams, in love, and in life. This creative nonfiction piece is a reimagining of a nonfiction oral history recorded by the author.


The New Spinnaker

I got my second Nintendo when dad got his condo in Hull. The condo was on a small island of unremarkableĀ buildings at the end of a long bridge that one had to take to get out to the neighborhood. I'm sure the realtor said it was 'perfect for singles and young professionals.' It was a fresh start.

Seagulls would drop mussels that they collected at low tide onto the bridge. They would wait on the side barricades for cars to drive over them and crack the shells, exposing the sweet meat inside.

You didn't need to cross the bridge to realize that these houses were all the same. They were chalk-white and gray, popping up from the greenery like a pile of salt and pepper shakers haphazardly placed on a yard sale table. It wasn't a nice yard sale table. It was the kind where you get closer, look at the merchandise, and realize it is brand new duplicate dollar store garbage at a markup and the guy is out there every day.

Dad's condo was the same as everyone else's. I didn't understand how he could tell the difference between his and the others. Inside, it was sterile. The furnishings were sparse, clean, and barely removed from their plastic wrap; a real Patrick Bateman pad. He had a giant television, a killer stereo, and a massive framed Nagel print on the wall. It was no place for kids, except for the Nintendo bought from a guy in the Want Ads. He would hook up its wires and they snaked across the carpet like the television's temporary tentacles. There was one copy of Super Mario Bros 3 and one copy of Excitebike.

He showed me my bedroom. It was empty of furniture and smelled like carpet glue.


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