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The following is by Jose Pahati.


Tetris: My oldest friend.

Moving from one place to another can jar every perception and plank upon which you build a life. Moving at a young age can uproot all your friends and social outlets, without the promise of ever grounding them again. Moving more than once, moving three times or four times can cause depressive anxiety about the vaery nature of constant comfort.

That is what appeared to happen to my older sister's. I have seen U-HAUL boxes become wailing walls to the unfairness of the late 1980's midwestern job market.

But I could only loosely empathize with them.

They, being popular. They, being pretty young things. They having worked, clawed and climbed their way up the caste system that is the AMERICAN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL. All that work was wasted when we moved, a number of times, to different towns. I don't want to denigrate their efforts. The visceral importance of popularity is very real, but it never seemed a priority to me. Though I was no 11-year old rebel, fighting the unfairness that oppresses all kids, I just didn't really care. I sought comfort.

If you are popular or unpopular, fat or thin, young or old, ugly or beautiful unhappiness can find you.

And no matter where I was, or who was talking to me, I alwasy found solice in a pile of silicon, plastic and copper. My Nintendo.

Sure, I liked many different games. Sure,it was fun to beat most of the games I played, but there was one constant.


The hours my older sister's spent stewing about their place in a new school, I spent in a world all it's own. My place in this world was always growing. The sense of achievement, although not valued in terms of grades or trophies was still very real. Is still very real. I truely believe that Tetris gave me a center. A stillness that my older sister did not have.

They have grown-up and found things (family, career) that give them stillness, that put them to sleep every night. And though I have moved on, and don't play nearly as much as I used to, when I am sleepless I look back on the hours, days and weeks I spent with Alexey Pajitnov and not a moment seems wasted, I relax and fade into a Tetris dream.



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