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Weekly Column by Andy Grieser
Column by Andy Grieser
 

June 7, 2002

In a month and a half, I will be 30 years old.

I’m a little surprised, to say the least. For one thing, I have the maturity of 15-year-old. I love movies like Airplane! and Scary Movie. I love boobies. I love the word boobies. I say it constantly, and even had the idea (back when ESCmag launched) of putting boobies on the site regularly. (Then PCXL tried the same thing, and died.) How can this person turn 30?

But I’ve already prepared for 30 in one way: I’ve always been a nostalgic cuss. I’m gonna be nostalgic in a week or two about ESCmag’s fourth birthday, but first… let’s talk about me.

I’ve been hit with wave after wave of nostalgia lately. It started with those Mitsubishi commercials, where the hip young teens are listening to club music while driving at night. A decade and change ago, that was me. I worked at Six Flags Over Texas, and during summer breaks from high school I often pulled late shifts (or wound up going out to Denny’s with the gang).

That meant driving home at 2 a.m., just a whisper of sound from the Texas night air. The local alt-rock station consigned its early-morning hours to club beats, with a DJ every hour or so. The highways are empty at that hour, so it’s just me and the solemn beat of the music and the underlying whisper and the crackle as I pull on a cigarette. Hypnotic.

More recently, I caught a whiff in the air. Not the usual smell of Chicago (lake water, garlic) but a sweetish scent that brought on my favorite nostalgia: High school again, and I am dating a gorgeous redhead about whom I sometimes still wonder. It’s fall in Texas, which means mildly chilly, but the air is sweet. Not artificially sweet, but like burnt sugar. Burnt sugar with a crisp tang when you inhale deeply. It is a happy smell, or more a content smell where for one moment, the world is just fine.

When the weather turns, no matter where I am, my heart beats a little faster and I breathe a little more deeply, searching for the scent of burnt sugar.

I get nostalgic, as is obvious by the New York column, for my dot-com days. I remember one perfect moment, in a Midtown bar, sitting in an overstuffed chair with sunlight breaking through the window behind me, illuminating slowly drifting swirls of cigarette smoke. Detto peered at me for a second and then compared the image to Wonderland’s hooka-smoking caterpillar.

He was also there for an evening at Chevy’s (also in Midtown), at which too many margaritas were downed and inhibitions were shattered. There were four of us at that table; we were beyond mere friends when we left, at times too far beyond. It’s possible to open up too far, I guess. But I’ll never regret the laughter, the shocks, one of us leaping up and running a short distance after one particular secret, the way that night made us the Musketeers, and how that all fell apart.

Next week, we’ll talk about ESCmag, and I’ll even let some of y’all in on how to get some free games. (In return, of course, for your souls.)

In the meantime: Thirty years. Geez. Somebody, show me your boobies.

See Recent Columns

November 22, 2002
November 15, 2002
October 25, 2002
October 11, 2002
September 27, 2002
September 6, 2002
August 30, 2002
August 23, 2002
August 9, 2002
August 2, 2002
July 26, 2002
July 12, 2002
June 28, 2002
June 21, 2002
June 14, 2002
June 7, 2002
May 31, 2002
May 24, 2002
May 17, 2002
May 10, 2002



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