You and I, we aren’t from here. I know I am not anyway and if this whole universe including me turns out to be a harsh game, well, consider my imagined heart crushed and my fictional breath taken totally away. What a beautifully cruel thing of unimaginable definition and color this place is. What incredible aberrations; what perfect anomalies. I sure as hell don’t know what the fuck I am doing here and I am quite certain that you don’t either. In fact, I can’t recall the nothing I was before. I wonder what the nothing will feel like later. That’s how I can do whatever it is that I do and not give a rat’s ass, not really, what someone else thinks. That said, I was wrong about Galaxian. I managed to find the handheld of Galaxian (2) and well, it is kind of great in all its simplicity. Like the color blue. Like pizza. Like laughing.
(Above: your correspondent, at JFK.)
Handheld Video Games were the shit when I was in middle school. They were an almost impossible thing to hide in my day and there was many a backpack modified behind a pawn shop or a 7-Eleven in hopes of silencing the bleeping LCD screens in order for in-class game play. Handheld video games were to us back then what Twitter is now, I guess. Only it had nothing to do with other people really and it was more electronics designed for improving your capacity to handle a version of galactic stress. In other words it was nothing like anything at all including twittering or the internet.
I need coffee. Sometimes I ask myself these questions like, “WTF am I doing writing a column I mean I don’t have any business writing a column I mean what am I doing trying to go crazy oh yeah maybe I am crazy ha ha ha ha ha” then it just keeps on going like that for a long time “ha ha ha ha ha.” Not really.
Frogger, Q-bert and Super Mario eventually followed the Pac-Man/Mrs. Pac-Man console-type video games. They weren’t all that much smaller but they were cool. I am pretty sure they ran on C Batteries which was a bummer if you lived far away from a hardware store or weren’t tight with your Grandparents. Grandparents always have too many batteries and tons of C Batteries “just in case.” What was all that “just in case” stuff? Zombies? HARDLY! They were worried about space critters just like in Galaxian. They prolly remember listening to the radio broadcast of War of the Worlds or knew someone who did. Space critters are problem. Hey maybe the bedbug infestation in NYC is really space critters. Either way you should pull up your jeans cuffs, fashion people on your week. Or maybe you don’t wear jeans?
Like handheld games, I am becoming outmoded. I am like an old rustic garden spot, I only respond to love and maybe I am just too out of the way to even be gratified. Either way, who cares. This whole column is probably about my feelings, my metaphorical galactic battle-zone, the ultimate handheld game.
I found these few handhelds at VideogamesNewYork on a tiny stretch of sidewalk on 6th Street. Just across the alleyway that runs behind that new futureshock building I could hear the rumblings of folks falling out of McSorley’s. Oh me! The store is packed with tons of old Nintendo and out-of-stock games. They carry used new stuff too. I found my handhelds on the second aisle all the way in back next to an amazing Voltex LCD screened system which they more than happily plugged in for me. RockBand (some weirdo new game where you press buttons of fake instruments) was on and the imaginary Beatles were on that thing. Some kid made a rude joke about one of the members of that band and nobody laughed but nobody cared either. Most people in a game store are out of touch with their feelings or have too many. Or maybe that is everybody, or maybe everybody is well-adjusted. How should I know?
This city does not have a metallic heart and it does not beat for me-only I imagined that in my swollen hands, beating away the night letters. Those keys opened no doors but to my own desperate need to belong. What a stranger a young man can be to his own dreams. This was me, always.
Handheld games are for people on the go and if you look around you should be able to find some shops, arcade-related-or just places that carry outmoded electronics that can be classic gaming. Even On The Go, we are, as DIO has said we are, “Hungry for Heaven.” But remember, only a scuba-instructing minister can be a Holy Diver.
Previously: Tron, 1982 (Bally Midway)
David Ryan Adams is a musician, writer, and visual artist. A one time plumber and Hardee’s employee, his new collection of original paintings will debut at the Morrison Hotel Gallery’s Bowery space on September 23. The gallery will also be featuring a new series of works for auction, with the proceeds going to benefit the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe. His second book of poetry, Hello Sunshine, hits the shelves this fall. You can find him in the B.C. Rich section of most guitar stores. He is amazing and much taller and far more handsome in person. Also, he has a new record label all his own, Pax-Americana.