Wednesday, May 22, 2013

X-Box On

Slipping my headset on, "X-Box On," I say to no one in the room in particular.  It still feels weird, but quickly that weirdness is replaced by satisfaction as my television and gaming system blaze to life.  I smile as I look over my friends list and say "X-Box, play Mass Effect Universe.  X-Box, Connect to Dav0rfiend."  Everytime I say his name I roll my eyes, best friends since gradeschool but that was 30 years ago.  That name certainly doesn't scream 38 years of age.

"Yo! Sammy! Comin' into a match with me," his voice asks over the headset, eagerness dripping from his tone.

I roll my eyes in response, and I'm sure that coloured the inflection of my voice as I replied, "Yo? Really? Are we back in the '90s?"  I quickly ease into the rhythm of the game, mindlessly shooting my way through the level.

The voice on the other end of the headset sounds affronted, "I say Yo sometimes!"

"Only when you're trying to sound casual to anyone with a female avatar," I tort back, just as I warp the reality around his on-screen depiction and shoot him while he's helpless.

"Uh..." he replies, with a long pause, "I guess you're right there."  He even sounded chagrined.  Man, Dave must be having a rough day.  I shrug and put the controller down, "It was nice playing with you but, well I should be getting ready for work."

"Y'sure, Sam?  This thing gets more sweet the longer you play!"  I roll my eyes again and say "Don't get too sucked in, don't want to be one of those losers who call in sick just to play video games.  X-Box Off."

I'm late getting back home, but the fast food was...not really worth it but I'm filled up.  I think I can spend a few hours trying to get deeper into this thing.  "X-Box On" I state again, and rather quickly I see that Dave is already online.  I start to shake my head in bemused judgement until I realize I'm getting on right after getting home as well.

"Sammy! You should check out this Forza game! It's sweet!"  Dave's voice is overly enthusiastic.

"When do you play racing games.  ... When did you start thinking I'd want to play a racing game?"

"Oh here...It's bought for you! Now just try it!"  I stare dumbly in my screen at just how quickly he was willing to buy me something.  The last time that happened the pizza included pineapples.

"Uh...Guess I sort of have to try it now don't I," I ask.  I hear him laugh on the other end, "Yep! Now hurry, I want to race!"

An hour into the game, it was alright.  More exciting than I had thought but I really wish they included flying cars.  Eventually I need a break, "I"m going to go break the seal and then try to go deeper into that Mass Effect game."

"You're going to go ... take a piss! Oh right, sure, I'll be in there waiting for you."

I smirk and say "Please don't, it was awkward enough turning you down in college," I slip my headphones off and walk away.  Once I'm back I see a giant black screen staring at me. I look down at my X-Box and see the light on, but next to it sits the modem and the internet light is out.  Fucking Comcast.  I end up shrugging and grabbing a book.  Eventually I remember to say "X-Box Off."

After work the next day I finally get back online, immediately I hear on the other end of my headset "There you are!"

I tab my way over to Dave's user information to take a voyeuristic peak at how he's doing at games, "Yeah Comcast fucked up my internet last night."

"Oh Sammy, you should try Xfinity! It's a whole new era of entertainment."  I barely hear him though as I stare at just how many games he's been playing, "Uh Dave?  How are you playing all these things...How the fuck are you affording it?"

"With my Visa Capital One card, silly!  C'mon, let's play something!"

This time he didn't buy me a new game, so I talked him into Mass Effect again, despite him saying how bored he is with it and he wants new challenges.  "Dave, tomorrow think I could come over?  We haven't hung out for a while."

"We're hanging out now, Sam!  Besides I'll be out of town for the weekend."

"Oh?  Huh, okay."  I shrug it off and keep playing, until too late in the evening.

I wake up and shower, get dressed, all the normal boring things I do everyday.  Eventually heading to the living room and saying, "X-Box On."  Almost immediately, over my headset, "Hey Sammy!"

I let out a curse and follow it with, "X-Box off!"  I storm out to my driveway and get into the car, fuming.  Sure it's an hour drive to Dave's house, but fuck it.  It's the principle of the thing.  Going out of town, bullshit.

It's rather amazing how much you can fume in an hour, pulling up to his house I find it dark but there's his car sitting in the driveway.  I go to the door and knock on it, repeatedly, for five minutes before screaming "Dave! Get your flabby ass out here!"

I go to the windows and stare in, and everything is dark.  Everything is off except for his X-Box.  He had the wherewithal to turn off his tv but not his X-Box when he went to hide when I pulled in? Wow, that's insane.  I go out to the backdoor and pound on that for a while before I hear someone pull into the driveway.

Walking back around I see men in white coats getting out of a van, "Samuel Houston," one of them asks me as I walk up to them.

"Uh, ... yeah?"

"We have your information and enough of your personality.  You are now rendered obsolete."  I stare incredulously, never noticing the guy who walked behind me, and barely feeling the electricity as it overrides my nervous system and sends me off into blackness.

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