The missing package and the secret to the missing Mana cartridge

[Contact Me] | [FAQ]

[Some "Dougisms" Defined]

[About Dickens of a Blog]

[Jump to Site Links]

Summary: I get a fair number of books via mail. One of which has disappeared into the occasional ether that is the post office. Speaking of things that should be there but aren't, let me tell you a story about a Secret of Mana cartridge...

BLOT: (12 Apr 2014 - 09:40:56 PM)

The missing package and the secret to the missing Mana cartridge

Today, we went by the post office to mail off our state tax returns. Cutting it really close to the wire, for us, with Sarah and myself being the sorts that mail such things off early. At any rate, we made it in before next week's deadline, and all should be good, minus the fact that we owed them. C'est les taxes, n'est pas? We were also there to try and find a package that should have been here on March 29 but was marked as "Delivered" and now has disappeared. Did it get left in front of the wrong door? Did it get sent back to the post office? Did it get stolen? Did it get returned to sender? Who knows? All I know is that it was not, in fact, delivered. And this, strangely perhaps, puts me in mind of...

When I was 18 or so, hung out with a local guy a year younger than me who was from roughly the same "neighborhood" [he was about 5 miles away, straight through the woods, making him pretty damned close]. We did not actually have a lot in common, outside of an appreciation of some of the same SF and videogames, with he being the first serious gamer I knew, back in the days of the SNES and the Playstation, mostly playing by himself and practising for those rare chances he got to play against someone. Namely me. Later, he and I split ways because he shot at my younger brother with a BB gun, in a very sort of wide way, and my parents forbade me to hang out with the guy for a bit, and that widened enough of a gap that we never really hung out again. He had a girlfriend and was learning about sex, I had a college career about to start, and the perspective that distance brought exposed a few moments like him saying, about someone whom I fairly detested [after I mentioned said detestation in conversation], "I know there's the whole rape thing, but he's not a bad guy." I've made better friends.

Back in the better days, though, there was a mystery involving Gamer Guy. He had lent me his copy of The Secret of Mana, a game that was almost literally life-changing for me. I had liked RPGs before, and it was already my favorite genre, but something about the colors and sounds and quests and system all made me love the genre so that for much of the next decade I played console and PC RPGs nearly in exclusion to everything else except car combat games [how's that for a blend?]. It hit exactly the spot my escapism needs required and pulled me out of a funk I had drifted into since about tenth grade. It also, on the other hand, drove me to escape through games rather than through massive amounts of reading and studying, which later forced me to re-prioritize things in my mid-20s and get back on track. That's much later, though.

I had rented Secret a couple of times, but him letting me borrow it gave me the chance to play it once or twice without having to pay the $x/day rental fee which can be rough for RPGs. I think I played it once. Maybe started a second game. And then, one day, it went missing.

We looked everywhere. I spent at least a total of twenty hours just going through all of my books, my clothes, my papers, my bedspreads, etc. I would lift each piece, just in case it was somehow stuck in between. A few days later, I would start again. Just in case. I dug under furniture, checked outside as if somehow it could have phased through walls. I tried out dowsing [though I cannot recall how serious I was]. I tried techniques like, "Walk without thinking and let the 'undermind' find it." Nothing worked. I sometimes suspected my younger brother, but he would not, at that time, have done something like that. I wondered if it had been somehow thrown away. I stressed out about it. It got brought back up every couple of months or so. Keep this in mind. Guy would just query, "So, did you find my game?"

Fast forward a year or two. In the summer leading up to my moving to Huntsville to attend UAH, I worked at the Evergreen Subway. Being a "Sandwich Artist" was an ok job. It gave me some perspective, helped me to socialize some, taught me that some people just enjoy being petty while others enjoy being nice. Paid for shit [this was late 90s minimum wage] but enough to eat, rent some movies, buy some dollar books [we didn't have a bookstore, just dollar stores that sometimes had books]. Gamer Guy came in one night. We caught up a little. Had been months since we'd seen each other. He had a job, was settling down some. Somehow the game cartridge came up, and the answer was so simple.

He had taken the game one day when visiting. Taken it and said nothing. And then he either sold it or hid it so well he knew I wouldn't find it when he visited [he was the sort to store his games in the open so people could see them]. At any rate, he purposefully took his game so that he could try and see if he could get some money out of me (he said as such, seemed to to think it was funny). And I was, outside of the rapist friend, the only other person I ever knew to hang out with him.

As I said, I made better friends. And, as the case may be, worse ones.

Bits that illuminate some of my history


Written by Doug Bolden

For those wishing to get in touch, you can contact me in a number of ways

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The longer, fuller version of this text can be found on my FAQ: "Can I Use Something I Found on the Site?".

"The hidden is greater than the seen."