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The Story of Two Gamers

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I know he’ll be in there, how could he not be on a day like this? There is only one door too. I’ll have to walk past him. Same seat almost everyday; he sits there so he can pester people in to chatting with him, as if they liked him. He liked me. If I was lucky he’d be having a piss, or getting a pint. The problem is that he doesn’t get pints or go for pisses; he just sits and pesters people. Bastard. I was almost nervous. It made me feel sick. The cold chill in my fingers gives way to a warm tingling and the dark to the light. I can’t see shit all. I grab my glasses from my face and wipe away the condensation with a corner of my shirt. He’s there. Of course he is. And he’s looking at me. ‘Didn’t expect to see you here…’ ‘Fuck off,’ I really didn’t need this. I could see my friends on the other side of the bar, sniggering away. They’re almost as bad. ‘Played it yet?’ ‘Played what?’ I know what he’s talking about. ‘Half Life 2.’ ‘You know I haven’t,’ he is going to get in to it. I don’t care about MIP mapping. He knows that. ‘Brilliant physics engine,’ now he’s grinning at me. Grinning!I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I hate PC gaming. It’s split - the gaming world - computer and video. The mods and the rockers of the Pac-Man generation. I don’t know which is which, if I’m mod or rocker, but I’ve always liked Vespsas. ‘Really?’ that’s rhetorical, ‘great!’ sarcasm. I turn to walk away. ‘You should play it!’ I know he’s luring me in. I shouldn’t get involve. I should walk away. Instead of leaving it I spin round on the spot, rush to the table and slam my hands down, draw my face to his and say ‘Go fuck yourself.’The pain hasn’t set in yet; I know it will of course, but right now it’s dulled by the adrenaline in my blood – surging through my heart and head. The force of the blow had knocked me back on to a table adjacent to his, and now I’m strewn across it, arms spread. He’s standing over me with a victorious smile, a smile that says he’s been running this through his sick little mind – this play of his. But, he’s misjudged it all – made a major error. He’s school-boyed it. Rule Number One of Pub Brawling: never leave your balls open.I’m looking in the mirror of the pisser, dabbing the blood from my nose with a wet tissue. I’d left him bent double in the bar - a crowed had gathered to watch him and laugh. The prick has got his come-upance, and the whole place knew that. Fucking cock. But then it dawns on me that, from all I’d seen, Half-Life 2 does have a pretty tasty Physics Engine. And that is it, I bawl out a raucous laugh and splatter blood all over the mirror.

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