Henry Vs. Darkness

on my 28th birthday, i decided that i was getting old. i felt sad and lonely and unaccomplished. i went outside and cried. i tried to go to sleep early but my brother pulled me out of bed. he presented me with the an amazing cake. he sang happy birthday. he made the day bearable.

i read somewhere that loyalty is the number one quality that a man looks for in his friends. my brother demonstrates it in every crisis. his first encouragement always is "we'll get through this. we're in this together."

it might seem unrelated but, from childhood through adulthood, video games have been one of our favorite past times.

we were taking turns beating megaman when our mom found our collection of playboys (hidden carefully inside of conan the barbarian comic books).

star wars: master of teras kasi taught us that he is a great fighter and i am a great fleer. by handing the controller back and forth, we used those skills to defeat the game many times over. unlocking darth vader, slave leia, and stormtroopers in the process.

we only hated video games when we had to play against each other. quake III, mario kart, and soulcalibur were wicked fun until one brother established a decisive lead. after that, they boiled into seething exchanges of smack-talk. (in our home town, henry was reigning champion of the "cut-down.")

when our friend simon spent his vacation with us, his only request was that we play Hunter: Reckoning in the Worlds of Darkness all week. we spent one hundred and sixty eight hours eating cold pizza, crackletating, and defending each other from an unending horde of zombies.

video games might seem like an enormous waste of time but what other activity provides a microcosm in which you can relax AND prove again and again that you have an eye out for your brother and you will cartwheel to the rescue, guns blazing, if he needs you?

© 2006 rama hughes