Cover Art

Blow/Refresh

by

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.

Three

With A Twist

My third Nintendo was on a TV cart in a kitchen in East Boston. The kitchen belonged to a sixty-year-old man who lived in an old apartment his mother furnished fifty years ago. He was dating my forty-year-old mother. His name was Tony, but sometimes Anthony. He would make restaurant reservations for us and sometimes use the name Anthony Rose, and sometimes the name Tony Cantonese, and sometimes just Love.

He had adult children. He listened to David Allen Boucher's Bedtime Magic on the radio as he drove his clean green Oldsmobile. A sleepy playlist filled the small space with Kenny G, Hall and Oates, Bette Midler, and sappy dedications of saccharine soft rock songs.

They would leave me in the kitchen to play another Want Ad barter special. This one came with Duck Hunt, Super Mario, and Track and Field, and I would play while they went off for adult mysteries.

I hit the refresh button. I changed my game.

It wasn't all that mysterious. I constantly checked mom's belly for swelling. Was it the rich food from the restaurants?  Bloating from her new taste for Smirnoff and tonic with lime?

I prayed. 

I shot ducks.

The dog laughed.

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