A few weeks ago I got back in touch with Alex, whom I used to play CS with late at night when I lived on Fell and Fillmore St. in San Francisco. We would play for hours, wearing our headsets and keeping up a steady banter while we went about the business of fantasy violence and struggle, part of a strange and invisible subculture that I won't try to explain.
I'm living somewhere else now, he is too, and after a year of this and that we have begun to get together again. We are playing a new game now, with new names and new rules, but underneath it is the same. Mostly young men, sitting alone in quiet houses late at night, looking through that glowing screen at a little world made just for them. And as I sit alone in my quiet house, awake when all others are sleeping, I am grateful for the company.