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.

One

The Sky Is Falling

I started to have dreams about wide open, half-lit buildings and civic architecture. Supermarkets, schools, malls. There was a bizarre comfort in these gaping spaces that were devoid of people, lights, and activity. I felt safer asleep and alone in this avatar of myself, repose in the abandoned, obscure semi-dark. I was a king.

I would wake in the summertime as days lazed after my birthday, and play my Nintendo in my bedroom. Another crappy little television on a stand above purple carpet. There was beauty in the security of having control over something. I could have practiced my trumpet or my lines from the school play, watched my little sister, or done some homework.

Before the Nintendo, I had tried to make hatchlings by sneaking a brown egg from the refrigerator and putting it on the central air vent with a little blanket of cotton. Sure it wasn't like the fancy incubators on TV, but it didn't matter. Love was all that mattered. I could control this.

Mom always found it, though. She insisted that this wasn't how it worked. 

I got the Nintendo, its reset button correcting my mistakes. Everything started anew.

My princess was always in another castle.

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