“Today was a sad day. Even worse, it was an unexpectedly sad day. Sometimes I know it’s going to be a sad day and I can at least try to prepare myself. Funerals on Tuesdays, the day after Christmas, and June 10 are all sad days. Today though, without warning, I realized my childhood was dead and gone, and I am officially an adult. I suppose it happened some time ago, but I was suddenly hit by the weight of it. The educational system said it was when I graduated senior year, the law says it was when I turned 21, my mother joked and teased, (much to my mortification), it was when I received the curse of a woman for the first time that I had entered the realms of womanhood. It wasn’t any of those times, but I still wasn’t sure when I stopped being a kid and became a grown-up. It had happened and so subtly, without certain pomp and without any particular circumstance. Here I was, 26, realizing I was no longer a child. My childhood had slip through my fingers and without a goodbye.
I’ve had my Nitendo 64 for over a decade, for most of my life. I remember when I first beat my big brother at Mario Kart. Then again at Mario Party, and then Super Smash Bros. As well. I remember bringing it to my best friend’s house for the weekend and having a 24 hour tournament. I played it when when my eyes were too sore to read anymore when I was grounded, which was all the time, or didn’t get invited to a party, (which was a lot.). My mother rolled her eyes when I packed it to go with me to live in NYC. She told me to grow up. I played it when I became too homesick and lonesome to do anything else. It was with me in my college dorm room, mostly as a novelty. An ex and I would play it together when I moved in with he and his family. My stomach turned when I realized I had forgotten to pack the Nitendo 64 when I packed up my duffel bag and ran away from that tragedy. I had too much pride and fear of what would happen, to go back and get it. And it was the Nitendo
64 he held when he knocked on my door and apologized a year later. We’d play it for old times sake. Months later when we said goodbye for a final time, I realized too late he still had three of my games. I then realized that I was more upset about losing the games than I was about losing him, and it reassured me that I would, and could move on. The next couple of years the Nitendo 64 had been safely kept in a box, awaiting my return from my many travels. It has been in all four of my apartments. I’ve played with friends, family, and boyfriends, each feeling the wrath of the victor that dwelled within me. It’s been there through bad times and created so many good ones. As stupid as it sounds, my Nitendo 64 has been with me as I grew up. Today, ……..today it no longer worked. It was old. I was old. Today I lost a friend.
I quickly wiped away my tears. This was ridiculous to be so attached and emotionally invested in an inanimate object. The last and most beloved thing from my childhood no longer worked, it was gone. I was an adult and I had to face it. As I stood there and washed off the makeup from the day, and ran my fingers through my hair, I looked intently on my face. No longer was there acne, (for the most part), my braces were gone. Was the skin under my eyes a bit discolored, or was it just my imagination? I pulled a course, coiled, stark white strand of hair from my head. My feet hurt. My back hurt. I hurt. Right now, in my fridge, all there was, was a half tub of yogurt, a quarter bag of gourmet coffee grounds, and a stick of butter. The kitchen garbage needed to be taken out. I had acquired a tower of books and Gilmore Girl DVD’s by the fireplace in the living room. A pile of clean clothes waited in vain to be folded and sorted in the laundry room. Another, even larger stack of books and journals sat next to my unmade bed with a trail of mismatched socks, scarves and a bra leading to it.
This was adulthood? This is what I had so painstakingly anticipated? This was my great escape? Was this all there was for me this side of eternity?”